What should I do if my car insurer is attempting to sue me because of an accident that was caused by another party?

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What should I do if my car insurer is attempting to sue me because of an accident that was caused by another party?

I was in a car accident over 1 1/2 years ago. The driver hit my car as I was waiting in traffic and attempted to flee the scene but was too injured to get away. After several months my insurance company finally gave me a check for the damages to my car. Months after that I received a letter in the mail stating that my insurance company was seeking payment for the accident. I spoke with a rep and explained that I was not at fault and I was the policyholder. I was told that everything was fixed, but today I got a letter from a law office attempting to collect the amount that was given to me.

Asked on June 2, 2011 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You really only have three options:

1) If you feel you are not at fault and are unwilling to pay anything, then you need to defend yourself--refuse to pay and either wait to be sued and defend, or else refuse to pay and affirmatively bring an action for declaratory judgment, seeking a court order declaring that you do not owe anything.

2) If feel that maybe you are somewhat at fault, or are willing to pay something to resolve this matter, see if you can't negotiate a settlement that you and they are all content with.

3) If you feel that you are at fault, or the amount they are seeking is sufficiently small, it may be worth simply paying it.

A good first step, even to help you decide what to do, would be to consult with an attorney. The lawyer can help you understand both the strength of the case against you and the cost of defending against it.


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