If I was found not to be at fault for an accident, must I fill out a report regarding my assets if requested to do so by the other party’s attorney?

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If I was found not to be at fault for an accident, must I fill out a report regarding my assets if requested to do so by the other party’s attorney?

I was in a accident where i hit a pedestrian a minor of 16 years old who was walking a bike in the road with dark clothing and no reflectors. My insurance company has determined I am not at fault but still wants to settle with them. The minor’s attorney is requesting I fill out a lengthy report of my assests. I do not own a home but my name could be on a home in a trust. I am unemployed and and have no money. Do I have to fill out this paper work and disclose my personal information? Would they be able to collect from a home that is in the trust even though there are others people’s name on it as well?

Asked on January 9, 2015 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

First, you have not been "found" to not be at fault--your own insurance company's determination is not legally binding on anyone; it's just their opinion. If you are sued by the other side, they could certainly win, regardless of what your insurer thinks. (The good news is that since you have insurance, your insurer should, if you are sued, step in to defend you.)

You do NOT have to fill out the form or report just because the other side asked you--not unless and until you are sued and they use formal court processes (such as written interrogatories) to get the information. If you are sued, however, they can get much or all of this information from you.

There is no way to definitively answer the question about the trust, since it depends on the nature of the trust, when and how and by whom it was set up, etc. If it gets to you being sued, you should consult with an attorney on this question, bringing with you the documents establishing the trust and all information relating to it.


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