What to do about injuriesallegedly incurredin a car accident?

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What to do about injuriesallegedly incurredin a car accident?

I lightly bumped into another vehicle at a stop sign because she appeared to be turning then slammed on her brakes. There was no damage on either vehicles – not even a scratch. The driver I “hit” called for emergency medical attention and went to the hospital. On site though, her pulse and blood pressure were normal. Since then she has attended therapy and claimed injury to her spinal cord. However, in the other driver’s medical history she has had a previous spinal cord injury that occurred 10 years ago. I believe the lady is trying to wrongfully sue me for money and I need advice.

Asked on August 12, 2011 Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Until and unless she does something, you don't need to do anything--that is, until, for example, you either demands money from you or actually sue you, you don't need to act, other than to report the situation to your insurer. Most insurance policies require the insured to report accidents and potential claims in a timely manner; failure to provide notice might invalidate your coverage. (At a minimum, review your policy to see what your reporting obligations are.)

Once she does act, if you have insurance, forward her claim, demand, summons and complaint, etc. to your insurer--they need to defend you, as well as pay if there is a valid claim. If you don't have insurance, or if you have a very low limit and your insurer settles out quickly, potentially leaving you responsible for the balance, retain an attorney to defend you. Remember: you only need to pay 1) if  you're at fault (e.g. you were driving carelessly); 2) the injuries are legitimate; and 3) your fault caused those injuries. You don't need to take her word for things--you can defend yourself.


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