What to do if Im getting sued by insurance company?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What to do if Im getting sued by insurance company?

I was involved in a car accident two years ago.
September 1st of 2016 to be exact. I was driving my
mother in laws vehicle which was fully insured but I
was not listed as a driver. I rear ended someone who
had full coverage insurance. Im guessing they had
uninsured motoroist. Everything got Payed for them
right away. My mother in laws insurance refused to
pay anything because I wasnt on the policy. Now a
collection agency under the other partys insurance
wants to sue me for the damages. What should I do?

Asked on October 9, 2018 under Accident Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you rear ended the motorcycle, you were at fault in the law's eyes: the rear driver is considered to be at fault because he/she has the responsibility to maintain such safe following distance and speed, and to pay sufficient attention, that he/she can stop in time and avoid collisions. 
If an insurer paid for the damage, they can then sue the at-fault driver (you) to recover the money they paid out only due to the careless driving.
Your options:
1) Even though you were not on the policy, if you did not regularly drive this car and do not live with her, but it was a very rare occurence for you to drive, it may be that her insurer should pay. (Regular drivers or people in the household who could access the vehicle must be listed on the policy, but a policy should cover a random borrowing). Check the terms of the policy and if you think that under the terms of the policy and the facts, your mother-in-law's insurer should pay, while you will have to pay the claim against you, you could file a cross-complaint for "breach of contract" (not honoring their contractual obligation to pay a claim) vs. the insurer to try to make them in turn reimburse you.
2) You could try to negotiate a settlement with the insurer you can and are willing to pay.
3) You could simply pay the amount, if it's inexpensive enough that it's better to do that then spend time, effort, and (if you hire a lawyer) money on this matter.

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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