If I was in a very minor car accident, can the other driver sue me personally?

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If I was in a very minor car accident, can the other driver sue me personally?

Now the lady is suing. My insurer offered her $5000 and she wants more. Both cars were stopped and my foot came off the break a little and my car bumped the car in front of me.

Asked on May 5, 2015 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if you were at fault in an accident--which you would be, from what you write--and she is not satisfied by what is offered to her, she can sue you for however much she feels she can prove (see below). Your insurer should, in that case, pay to defend you and/or pay any amounts the other driver wins in court, up to your total policy limit. (E.g. if you have $15,000 liability coverage, they have to pay up to a total of $15,000 in legal bills and compensation.)

As stated, from what you write, you are liable--having your foot "come off the brake" is careless, or negligent, driving. But she can only win an amount equal to the sum of her: 1) property (car) damage--that portion not paid by her own insurer, if she has collision insurance; 2) medical costs not paid by her medical/health insurance (e.g. deductibles, co-pays); 3) lost wages, if any; and 4) pain and suffering IF she suffered long-lasting (at least several weeks) serious impairment of life or disability. She has to be able to *prove* these losses, such as with medical expert testimony, and can't simply claim them without proof. She only get, if she sues, what she can prove.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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