Can I sue her for stress on our family after they prove she is a con? 13 Answers as of January 24, 2013

My husband was in a four-car accident over two years in CA. First car stopped, second car hit, husband stopped and then another car slammed him and hit the lady in front of him. Nobody was injured and the only damage was our fender was bent and our air bags deployed. The lady in front had $525 in damage. I was not with him and nobody was injured. Everybody agreed not to call the police and they exchanged numbers and left. We got a few hundred for my car to fix bumper but would not pay for air bags so we just removed them. Two years later, I get served for over $400,000 in damages. Lady in truck is claiming the loss of employment, $29,000 in medical bills, MRI'S, hard to see, etc. Everything that could be wrong is listed. She was in a very large truck and my husband was in an Escalade. I guess the insurance has tried to settle with her and she keeps pushing. I have an attorney that the insurance company got for me and we have mediation in March and then a trial in April. There was no police report, she was in a large vehicle. My husband was pushed into her truck from behind. She is also going after the guy behind us who was also in a truck. This is really making me mad now because she may have those things wrong but they were not caused by the accident. We have only $50,000 on the policy because we have young drivers and could not afford a bigger policy. I called insurance company and filled out a form to do a fraud investigation. I was in a car accident where I was hit at 40 miles per hour without breaking. I got hurt but went through PT and came out ok. I only got $5000 for everything. This is really stressing us out.

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Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
You could file a counterclaim for abuse of process.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 1/24/2013
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
I promise that your insurance company will not pay a penny more than it has to.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/24/2013
Law Offices of Mark West
Law Offices of Mark West | Mark West
If, and this is a big if, you can prove that she sued you for damages not caused by this incident, AND you either get her to dismiss her claim without a release of claims on your part, or you go through trial and win, again because of proof the damages were not caused by this incident, you could possibly sue her for wrongful institution of civil litigation. (sometimes referred to as malicious prosecution.) Courts disfavor such lawsuits but they do exist and it is a viable cause of action, but you MUST have a favorable outcome on her suit before you could proceed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2013
Matthew D Kaplan LLC
Matthew D Kaplan LLC | Matthew D Kaplan
Don't waste your energy being angry at the person who was injured. Their lawyer is doing their job by naming all the potentially responsible parties. If the at fault lawyer decides to say that you hit the car in front of you before they hit your car, then the injured party would be screwed. It would be malpractice for the attorney not to name you in the lawsuit. Really more likely than not, the insurance companies (your included) are the ones trying to drag this out and are unreasonable. It is much easier to believe that the other person is lying than the insurance companies are trying to save a few buck and really do not care at all about what nice people like you think and want. You don't have much to worry about.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 1/24/2013
The complication may arise from the vehicle's insurer behind you and not from your insurance company. I suggest you have a heart to heart conversation with your attorney and ask what is holding up the settlement. Your description of the accident leads me to believe the jury would find your vehicle without fault. To be sure and protect my interests, I would send a letter by certified mail RRR to my insurance company as well as my attorney instructing them to settle the case within my policy limits now. You may also retain an attorney here to make sure every one is on the level regarding the information you have received thus far and in the future regarding the progression of the case, and the possibility of holding you harmless within your policy limits.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 1/24/2013
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    There is a cause of action for abuse of process, but I highly doubt that you would have a case here since she has a potential cause of action.Her lawyers just may have overstated damages, but that is the safest thing for lawyers to do in complaints and is allowed. The idea is that it's better to ask for more than not enough. A complaint is like wishing out loud for the moon the stars and the sun. Wishing out loud is one thing, but getting everything you ask for in a lawsuit is something very different. Ok, now you didn't ask, but I'm going to address your concerns about liability beyond the limits of your policy, which is stressing you out. If what you described is true, it's not likely there will be a judgment beyond the limits of the policy. Ask your defense lawyer for his or her opinion. Most defense lawyers have a good grip on the amount involved in settlements and judgments for a case like your husband's case. Listen to what he or she has to say about that. My guess is that they will tell you that you really don't have anything to worry about. However, there is a cheap easy way to legally protect yourself from liability beyond the limits of your policy. The defense lawyer who the insurance company hired should have told you that you can get your own lawyer to protect your interests in that regard. But, you'd have to hire one at your expense and that can be costly. The cheapest, easiest way, that few people know about, for you to protect yourself from liability beyond the limits of your policy, is for your husband to tell the insurance company, in writing, to settle the claim within the limits of the policy. When you do that, if the insurance company does not settle within the limits and you get hit with a judgment in excess of the limits, the insurance company has to eat it, literally.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 1/24/2013
    Pingelton Law Firm | Dan Pingelton
    Let your insurance company handle it. You might want to talk to a lawyer who would probably advise you to demand your insurance company offer her policy limits to settle everything. They won't, and they'll defend you, but by you doing that, it will protect you in the very unlikely event she would recover more than policy limits at trial. Again, an attorney can explain this for you. Don't stress out. Let your attorney worry about it.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 1/24/2013
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    The insurance lawyer is fully aware of all you say except your emotions. If the claim is fraudulent they will deal with it as such you can counterclaim for most anything you can prove. If the insurance lawyer doesn't want to help you do that hire your own lawyer to do it.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 1/24/2013
    John Russo | John Russo
    If this is stressing you out I suggest you see a therapist, I see nothing in your allegations that clearly seem to point to fraud; Moreover, you were not by your own admission even present at the accident scene, the finder of fact will resolve this matter, but comparing your prior accident experiences to this one is not relevant, and I would suggest that you be careful with what you fill out as it relates to this matter since you were not present at the actual incident.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 1/24/2013
    Gregory S. Shurman, LLC
    Gregory S. Shurman, LLC | Gregory S Shurman
    Because the auto accident occurred in California, you may need to consult with an attorney that handles California Claims.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/24/2013
    Mike Lewis Attorneys | Mike Lewis
    You should discuss your concerns with the attorney the insurance company has provided. He/she will be able to advise you on what your options are in terms of bringing a claim against the driver you think is faking.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 1/24/2013
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC | Bruce A. Curry
    Assuming the case is not settled and the trial results in your favor, you could ask the court to award sanctions for bringing a frivolous claim. However, this remedy is not designed to compensate you for your stress. Rather, it is designed to punish the plaintiff for bringing an unsupportable lawsuit. Most judges, however, are reluctant to sanction a plaintiff.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 1/24/2013
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