If I’m being sued because I rear-ended a car, do I turn this over to my insurer or do I need representation?

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If I’m being sued because I rear-ended a car, do I turn this over to my insurer or do I need representation?

I ran into the back of a car at a stop sign after we both stopped. I proceeded to go but the car a head didn’t. This happened almost 3 years ago. Now I have been served papers stating the injured party is suing me, not an insurer, for some 15k. These are lost wages, care, etc.

Asked on August 30, 2014 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The injured party does NOT sue your insurer--the insurer did nothing wrong; rather, the injured party sues you, the person that they believe  to be at  fault, and your insurer then, as per its policy obligations, should step in to defend you and/or pay on your behalf (at least up to policy limits).

Your first step is to notify your insurer--they should defend or settle the case. If they fail to do so, or if the claim exceeds your policy limits, then you may need to retain your own attorney (and, if the insurer did fail to do its duty, you may have a lawsuit against your insurer for breach of contract). But as long as they are handling the claim and resolve it for equal to or less than your policy limits, they should resolve it for you.


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