Can they do anything about this?
UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022
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Can they do anything about this?
I was in an accident where a 14 year old boy backed out of a driveway and hit me. I tried to honk and throw it in reverse, but I couldn’t move fast enough and he ran into me. The mom of the boy seemed to agree it was his fault. I had the police come and the report also states that he was at fault and I had the right of way. Some time after the accident happened the aunt of the boy came out and started to yell at me and say that I ran into him and that they were going to take me to court. Can they do this? Do I have anything to worry about?
Asked on July 21, 2018 under Accident Law, Texas
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 4 years ago | Contributor
Can they file a lawsuit and try to sue you? Yes, because the courts do not pre-screen lawsuits to see if they are valid or not. Do you have anything to worry about? Based on what you write, no, so long as you (or an attorney on your behalf, including one hired by your insurer) respond to the lawsuit (if you don't respond, you can lose even the most worthless lawsuit "by default," like forfeiting a ball game by not showing up to play). In the situation you describe, the boy (and therefore his family, since he is a minor) would be at fault and liable, not you:
1) Someone driving on the road has the right of way over someone existing a driveway;
2) Someone backing into another is generally held to be at fault;
3) The boy is too young to drive
If they do try suing, since we assume you have liability insurance, refer it to your insurer, who should defend the case for you and who should have no problem dealing with the case; if you don't have the relevant insurance, you can either respond to the lawsuit yourself (such as if it's brought in small claims) or hire a lawyer to defend you (if they are suing for more than the small claims limit).
Since the boy appears to be at fault, you could sue his family for any costs or damage you incurred to the extent not paid by insurance.
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