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Old 08-08-2001, 10:29 PM   #1
ChannelZ28
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Default I`m getting sued for an accident!

Well about two years ago I was in an accident, I turned left and didn`t see the Aerostar coming. Now I was driving my old car, an `86 Tercel, not worth a thing. Anyway, it was a pretty low speed accident. I was just pulling away from a stop sign, and she was doing maybe 35 or so. She hit the front of my car right about where the wheel is, and made a pretty good dent, and bent the wheel pretty far over. Her car was smashed up in the front to, but it was driveable.

The EMS people said that she might have a broken arm, they thought from the airbag.

Anyway...

NOW, 2 years later, 2 weeks before I`m going off to college, They are suing me big money for the accident!

And with the letter they sent me, that had an entire page list of injuries, and said what a sloppy, careless, reckless driver I am, it was basically enough to put that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Has anyone ever been sued for an accident? I`m willing to listen to any stories right now, I`m not realy feeling to good about this.

Ross
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Last edited by ChannelZ28; 08-08-2001 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 08-08-2001, 10:42 PM   #2
NotoriousWRX
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As long as you had insurance, you have nothing to worry about. The insurance company will represent you in the lawsuit, and more than likely will reach an out of court settlement with the claimant. Just make sure to get those legal papers to the insurance company that you had at the time a.s.a.p. and only talk to your insurance company or their lawyers regarding the accident.

Good luck!
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Old 08-08-2001, 10:43 PM   #3
trokita
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Default Get a lawyer!!!

Seriously though- I'm on jury duty for a case somewhat like yours, except this accident happened in '93 and it's eight years later. The plaintiffs are asking for bux!!!! Protect yourself or you will be paying forever.
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Old 08-08-2001, 10:45 PM   #4
ShaftnoBalls
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people are stupid always trying to sue someone
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Old 08-08-2001, 10:46 PM   #5
8Complex

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"And with the letter they sent me, that had an entire page list of injuries, and said what a sloppy, careless, reckless driver I am, it was basically enough to put that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach."

Does this sound like verbal abuse or slander to anyone? Maybe you should sue back!

Last edited by 8Complex; 08-08-2001 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 08-08-2001, 10:48 PM   #6
caino
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there's a statute of limitations on this type of ****.

I know, I'm currently the one doing the suing due to an auto accident right now. Whose fault was the accident? Seems to me that if she hit you behind the front wheel, that's her fault first off.

Is there a police report? If not, I hope you have pictures of the accident...there was one time a lady t-boned me...told her insurance I hit her fender, so they called wanting my insurance info...I didn't give it to them, just asked for their mailing address and who I should send em too...a week later I had a check for the estimate I sent along with the pictures ;oP

But one thing the insurance companies do in an accident situatiion where there are injuries si they set a certain level that they estimate the cost to be....once that limit is set, it's hard (read: impossible) to get that limit bumped up. What that means that even if this accident was your fault and it goes to court (most insurance cases get settled out of court) is that she isn't going to get squat.

Well, she'll get laughed at more than likely. I would call your insurance company and tell them about this, see what they say.

caino
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Old 08-08-2001, 11:00 PM   #7
ChannelZ28
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Caino, I turned in front of her, so I think it was my fault, I don`t really remember it that well, but I don`t think she really had much of a chance to stop in time.

8Complex, you can bet your ass I`m gonna sue back!
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Old 08-08-2001, 11:02 PM   #8
ChannelZ28
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Actually I had a moment of boldness right there, I don`t think I could care less about suing back, I would be more than happy if it just got dropped.
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Old 08-09-2001, 12:56 AM   #9
Nesta722
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Lightbulb

Here's an idea for you ... if money was EVER given to them in the past, like right after the accident, ask your insurance company if they had the people who are suing you ever signed a release form, NORMALLY an insurance company that is going to give out money makes the person they are giving money to sign a release form which states that the people that are receiving this money are taking it as a settlement and can do nothing further. --- I know this only because I'm going through the opposite end of it right now.

Matty
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Old 08-09-2001, 01:02 AM   #10
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I agree with everyone else. Most important is to check the statute of limitations. I thought it was only 2 years. Anyways, start digging up all the info you have about the incident and maybe consider getting some legal advice about a possible countersuit. I'm a firm believer in teaching people who abuse the system a lesson. If this lady's injuries were so horrendous then it wouldn't have taken her 2+ years to pursue the matter and she would have gotten a police report too (Both important things to bring up in your defense BTW). Given your account of things it's obvious she'd trying to ride some kind of gravytrain.

Good Luck.

Haig
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Old 08-09-2001, 01:05 AM   #11
Overtime
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Normally the at-fault insurance company will settle with the wronged party and make them sign a waiver to get their cash.

If she's signed a release, her case is a joke.

I'll bet that it's a joke regardless, but that's not for you to handle. It's for your insurance company.

(I'll bet dollars to donuts that the lady lost her job/source of income and now suddenly "remembers" all the pain and suffering she had inflicted upon her when she almost broke her arm. Hah.)
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Old 08-09-2001, 01:37 AM   #12
Philip
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Sounds like CA style lawsuits have spread through the entire country (I am still waiting to be able to use a twinkie for my defense......)

If you recall having the police come out at all, try to get a copy of the report they wrote up. Every document that you are given, take to the copier and put the originals away (unless it has a sig, then put the copy away), and keep double the info, one set as backup. Keep EVERYTHING you can. If you had insurance back then, try to get any information from that company about what transactions went on. Anything you can remember that had to do with that accident, track it down. If you recall any witnesses, be it passengers in the mini-van, your car, or outside of the accident. You might even want to sit down and write about everything you remember from it, and re-read it over and over, making corrections....

This sounds like a lot of work, but if you don't prepare yourself, you will probally get shocked when you talk to a lawyer or get in a situation that you are talking to their lawyer. Counter-suits can work, but you really need to consult a lawyer. Expect the worst..... sometimes you get shocked by how much easier it turns out if you expect it to be hard.

Just my 2 cents...

Philip
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Old 08-09-2001, 01:59 AM   #13
Maximum
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Philip: Yes, invoke the Twinkie defence! Excellent!!!

But seriously, if you had insurance this will be more of an inconvenience than a problem. My mom was in the same situation. She was sued by someone claiming a rather large amount of damages. The insurance company did everything; all my mom had to do was show up for a pre-trial. I don't think it even went to court; they rarely do despite what you might think. The insurance co. will assess the strength of the case, consider who's at fault, the quantum of damages, statute of limitations, etc, etc, etc. You only need assist them if/when they ask for it.

BUT re-read your policy to make sure that you are covered for the kind of damage being alleged and the amount being sued for. Your policy might be one of those fine print documents, but it's worth an evening to become familiar with it. It would not be unheard of for your insurance co. to try to weasel out of coverage if they can. (This is why I tell people never to VIN swap.) Just be an informed driver and know your rights.

If you didn't have insurance, talk to a lawyer IMMEDIATELY. You may be personally liable. The statue of limitations may have run out, but let a lawyer do the leg work for you. Trust me, in such situations a zealous advocate in your corner is a big help.
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Old 08-09-2001, 02:09 AM   #14
mb2k
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What do you mean CA style lawsuits? Looks like this is the Philadelphia area here, infamous for everyone suing eachother. I hope you're the case is at least outside of the city.

SEPTA (local transit authority) started jailing people for fraud. Typically there would be 20-50 people suing for injuries after bus accidents, even when there were 5 people on the bus.

Good luck!
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Old 08-09-2001, 03:13 PM   #15
SLIG
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Unhappy

My wife was in a similar accident. She made a left turn in front of a guy that was speeding in the fog without lights on on a semi-blind corner. He was in a Mazda 626, hit the left front of her Taurus wagon, bounced off and completely destroyed the rear half of a parked Civic. No serious injuries, in fact her car was completely drivable. The other two weren't. One night several weeks later we get a law suit summons from his lawyer suing us for $50,000. I was kind of shook, called my State Farm agent and he said, don't worry about it, that's his job. They took care of it, no court appearances or anything. I don't even know the outcome of the case. Anyway, that's why you pay the outrageous insurance, in case you ever need it. Any time it's your fault, you are always open to suit. Just let your insurance take care of it. Good luck.
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Old 08-09-2001, 03:49 PM   #16
Eric in DC
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Your insurance company will handle the case. That being said, your insurance company also has a limit. Any amount payable up to that limit will be paid by the insurance company and any extra will be payable by you. The first thing you need to do is check on your policy and see how much coverage you have. Then check the the complaint. How much are they suing for? Is it less than your insurance, if it is, you're home free. If it isn't, you don't want the insurance company to cut a deal when you have to pay out of pocket. Come back with more info and maybe someone can give better advice.
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Old 08-09-2001, 03:50 PM   #17
ForceFed4
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Question

How were you served the papers? I know in some states they have to serve you personally, as well as by mail. If they're required to serve you personally, and they didn't the case can get thrown out on that merit alone; I'm not a lawyer though, so I don't know how it really works. Also, like everyone says, if you have insurance, give them the information and let them handle it.
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Old 08-09-2001, 04:44 PM   #18
SlideWRX
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I could see suing if there was some sort of injury that resulted in long term medical expenses (sue to cover those expenses), but otherwise suing two years later is Baloney!

I was on the recieving end of a nasty accident in my escort about three years ago. An oncoming car lost control, tagged my car and I was then t-bone on the drivers side by a pick-up. I don't remember any of this, as I woke up on the way to the hospital. I do vaguely remember waking up for a moment, when the rescue crew was cutting me out of the car - they said something like 'we need to cut the door off to get you out' and I said 'you do anything you need to get me out' and then I blacked out again. Long story short, I broke a shoulder bone and was cut up good, but no long term damage resulted. fromthe police report there was NOT any alcohol involved, my expenses all got paid, so I didn't want to add another pointless lawsuit to the system.
I checked the car out the next day to see how bad it was. The bumper imprint from the pickup went from my front wheel to the rear wheel! the front bucket seats had been squeezed into a love seat. Needless to say, the little escort was totaled, and I went out and got a new car with the insurance check.
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Old 08-11-2001, 12:32 AM   #19
ChannelZ28
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OK this may not be as bad as I thought. I called the insurance company today, and they told me they had already made an offer, and they think it`s also already accepted!

Apparantly, they have been negotiating for about a month already. When I went back and read the letter again, I happened to notice that it was dated, July 10th.

They said they would get back to me about the details.

Now how about that?
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Old 08-11-2001, 05:53 AM   #20
Martin Ritchie
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That sounds better. Hang in there. When your insurance co gets back with you make sure you ask lots of questions about how the settlement will affect you (e.g., are you liable for anything, will your rates rise, will they cancel you). Keep in mind that the insurance co does not represent you, it represents itself and will do what is in its best interest, not necessarily yours. The only way to have representation solely in your best interest is to hire your own lawyer. Hopefully this will not be necessary. All the best.
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Old 08-11-2001, 07:12 AM   #21
jher
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You didn't mention insurance. If you are covered, just give your agent the information you received. If you were not insured.............? Since you admit that the accident was your fault, you are responsible and accountable regardless.

Good luck. This kind of thing is always stressful.
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