Do I have to go to court on behalf of my insurance company regarding a personal injury allegedly due to a car accident?

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Do I have to go to court on behalf of my insurance company regarding a personal injury allegedly due to a car accident?

A month and a half ago, a week after I passed my driving test, I had a small accident. A very stupid accident, fortunately almost harmless. I drove up to the red lights, there was a car in front of me, I almost stopped, but at the last moment I accidentally pressed gas instead of pressing the brake. And I hit the car in front before I could press the brake. Nothing serious happened. The car in front of me had a tiny dent on the bumper; mine had a crack near the registration plate. Yesterday, I received an email from the insurance company that that this woman made a personal injury claim. They wanted me to once again confirm my version of events. I was very surprised because it wasn’t strong hit. They now want to take me to court as a witness not to pay this woman for personal injury. I do not want to go to the court. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe this woman is telling the truth. They do not say I have to go, they just ask me if I will go to the court. They say that personal injury claim will not affect my premium. Can I just say that I do not want to go to court without negative effects on my insurance?

Asked on June 7, 2019 under Accident Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Technically, if you were named in the lawsuit as a defendant but did not get the notice from the person suing you, or you were not named but were not officially subpoenaed, you do not need to appear. (But conversely, if you get a subpoena or if you are a defendant and get a notice from the other side, you must.)
But your insurance policy almost certainly contains some clause, term, or provision stating that you must "cooperate" with your insurer (or something to that effect) in defending a claim or in any lawsuit. A clause, etc. like this is standard. If you don't appear when your insurer requests you to do so, you are in breach of contract--your insurance policy is a contract. That means they could drop you insurance and not cover you. That in turn means that if other person sues you and wins, you'd have to pay any claim out of pocket (from your own money) without insurance--and you'd have to find new insurance, probably at a higher cost. So if your insurer wants you to appear and testify, you should.


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