What to do if threatened with small claims court by other driver involved in accident?

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What to do if threatened with small claims court by other driver involved in accident?

The other driver is not happy with my insurance decision to only pay less than 50% of the damages. My insurance company determined I was partially liable. The other driver believes I am 100% liable and is looking to pursue small claims court. The other driver has also offered me the alternatives of paying the difference or to revise my statement to my insurance to say that I am 100% at fault. I am being told by the other party that if I lose in small claims court that I will have to pay out of pocket (which is not true from me searching the internet).

Asked on January 18, 2013 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If someone believes that you are at fault in causing him X damages, he is allowed to sue to recover X damages--he is not obligated to accept your insurer's opinion that he is only entitled to 50%X (that is, unless he happened to accept the insurer's payment and in the process exectued a settlement agreement in which he agreed to  take that payment as settlement in full of the claim).

If he rejects the settlement and sues you, your insurer *should* (though check the terms of your policy) step in to defend you and, if there is a judgment against you, the insurer should pay it, subject to any deductibles and like limitations.


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