If 3 years ago I got into a car accident for which I was no at fault, why would owe my insurer money back from the claim?

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If 3 years ago I got into a car accident for which I was no at fault, why would owe my insurer money back from the claim?

There were two other people with me in my car. The other driver was at fault due to DWI and she was cited for it. The 3 of us in my car decided to go to the hospital to get checked up and attended a chiropractor clinic. Our insurance company paid for all of our medical bills and 3 of us settled with the person at fault’s insurer. Fast forward 3 years later, we were hit with a civil lawsuit from our own insurance company claiming that we owe money to them. In a letter sent to us by our insurance company’s attorney, it states that we were at fault during the day of the loss. What would be the best thing to do in our current situation?

Asked on January 25, 2016 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Whether you believe--even correctly--that the other driver was at fault, clearly your insurer disagree and thinks you were at fault; their letter states that. That makes sense, in a way, if they are suing you for the money: only the at fault driver is liable to pay the cost(s) of an accident. They may well be wrong, but they are proceeding from the basis that you were at fault. You should respond with anything you have documenting that the other driver was at fault--e.g. if you have anything relating to the DUI/DWI, or any correspondence with your insurer around the time of or shortly after the accident, in which they acknowledged the other driver being DUI. If that documentation doesn't do the trick and/or you don't have documentation, definitely get an attorney to help prove you were not at fault--it would not be a bad idea to get an attorney right away, of course, but if you do have clear documentation in your favor, you could try sending that without a lawyer first.


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