If I am involved in an auto accident case, what should I do as the plaintiff? 21 Answers as of September 01, 2015

In 2013, I hit a car that suddenly stopped in front of me. I have just received a summons to appear in court because a guy whose car I hit is demanding $50,000 for his medical bills and pain and suffering. Is my insurance supposed to deal with this? At that time, no obvious injuries were present in the driver, who even declined being sent to the hospital. That accident was very minor, leaving a minor scratch and dent on his rear bumper.

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S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
You should contact your insurance carrier immediately and provide it with anything you received from the plaintiff of his attorney. The insurance company will provide you with an attorney and help you with any defense you might be able to raise.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 9/1/2015
Candiano Law Office
Candiano Law Office | Charles J. Candiano
Correct. Give everything to your insurance and cooperate. They have a duty to defend you.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 9/1/2015
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
First of all, you are not the plaintiff, you are the defendant. Yes, your insurance company is supposed to deal with this, that is what you have insurance for. So, get the Summons and Complaint to your insurance company now, today. Make several copies, get one to your insurance agent, get a hold of your insurance company and ask where to send it, fax it to them e-mail it to them, send a hard copy express mail and get a receipt, follow up and make sure they have it. If you don't, they will claim that you did not give them proper notice and they will disclaim and you will be on the hook for everything. Once they confirm that they have it, they will hire a lawyer to defend you. Your duty at that point is to co-operate in your defense.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/1/2015
Law Offices of Robert Burns
Law Offices of Robert Burns | Robert Burns
Your question makes no sense. You are a defendant. Turn this over to your insurance carrier.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/1/2015
Gregory M Janks, PC
Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
If you are being sued, you are not the Plaintiff, you are the defendant. If you are suing, you are the Plaintiff. If you are sued, you turn the matter over to your car insurer and they will provide a lawyer and respond to the suit and defend you. You need to cooperate with them. In MI, medical bills are paid by one's own insurer, so any Plaintiff has his/her own insurer pay those bills vs. suing the at fault party for them. A plaintiff can sue for pain & suffering, but there are a # of things that must be proven to make a recovery. Again, your insurer would work to see if the Plaintiff can prove the elements of their case re: any claim for p&s; and would also defend the liability claims with a sudden emergency defense or the like. Property/collision damage is also paid for by one's own insurer vs. making a claim for that against the at fault party.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/1/2015
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    You must immediately report it to the insurance company under whose coverage you were at the time of the accident. You should have done so when the accident happened, and if you did not they might refuse to cover you, but they probably will if you convince them it was so minor you did not think anything would happen. ?I would assume the other driver made a claim back then for the property damage. Even in very minor accidents, people can suffer significant injuries, although many jurors are doubtful of that. ?Your insurance company will ?provide an attorney at no charge.? You are a defendant, not plaintiff [that is the person who is suing you].
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/1/2015
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    If you haven't done so already, immediately report the claim over to your insurance company and let them handle it. They should provide you with defense counsel and pay any settlement or judgment up to the limits of your policy.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/1/2015
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    That's why we have insurance. The law suit just means that they have not yet settled the claim. Let them handle it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/1/2015
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Turn the matter over to your insurance carrier.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/1/2015
    Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
    Yes, you need to contact your insurance company immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/1/2015
    End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
    Yes, your automobile liability insurer should cover the other person's claim. I assume your insurer has been negotiating with the injured person's lawyer since the time of the accident.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 9/1/2015
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C.
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C. | Richard M. Levy
    Hopefully you reported the accident to your insurance company right after it occurred. Regardless, notify them immediately about the documents you just received. If the insurance company tells you that you reported it to them too late and they won't handle the matter, you would need to hire an attorney as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/1/2015
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Send it to your insurance company IMMEDIATELY.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/1/2015
    Law Office of Marc June
    Law Office of Marc June | Marc June
    This is why you buy insurance. Call your insurance agent.
    Answer Applies to: Alaska
    Replied: 9/1/2015
    Ty Wilson Law | Ty Wilson
    You should reach out to your insurance company, they should provide you a defense up to your policy limits of insurance coverage. Hopefully this is not the first time they are hearing about it. You have a duty as an insured to notify them timely. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/1/2015
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    If you have auto insurance, turn the letter over to your auto insurance company. They will provide a lawyer and will take care of it. If you didn't have insurance at the time of the accident, get a lawyer fast.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/1/2015
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Yes. Contact your insurer at the time of the crash. Let them handle everything. Stop talking to the other driver.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 9/1/2015
    Boyack Christiansen & Chambers, PLLC | Travis Christiansen
    Contact your insurance company immediately. You may also want to call an attorney of your own to sue him for your injuries as well. Your insurance company will likely defend you.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/1/2015
    Gregory S. Shurman, LLC
    Gregory S. Shurman, LLC | Gregory S Shurman
    Yes, you should call your insurance company and inform them of the papers you received. They will want you to get a copy of the papers to them, and they will then provide a legal defense for you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/1/2015
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    You are not the plaintiff. You would be the defendant if you hit them from behind.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/1/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Your insurance should handle it and have an attorney assigned to defend you, as defendant. Try there, and seek counsel if you receive no satisfaction.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/1/2015
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