What can I do if I am being sued for damages for a personal injury? 50 Answers as of September 19, 2012

I received a legal complaint 2 years after the car accident that I was involved in. The accident happened one month after the plaintiff's first accident, which he incurred physical issues. He is now suing for medical costs and non-economic damages. I have never been sued or served before. I don't have an attorney. I had thought my insurance took care of the accident since I stopped receiving any papers a year ago. Please advice! I do not have any money set aside for emergency or any of this!

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The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
If you were covered by insurance at the time of the accident then then your company has a contractual responsibility to represent you in this lawsuit and to indemnify you for damages up to the limit of your policy. You should contact your insurance company, send them a copy of the complaint and ask for a copy of your policy.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 8/6/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
your insurance company hires a lawyer for you
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/5/2011
ROWE LAW FIRM
ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
Your automobile insurance company should handle any defense in this case. If the accident was more than two years ago, normally it would be too late for you to be sued, with some exceptions. One exception is if someone else who is "solidarity liable" with you has been sued. It is quite possible, under the scenario you have described, that it is too late for you to be sued. You should contact your insurance company immediately about the lawsuit. If you no longer have insurance, you may still have coverage for the time when the accident occurred, if you are liable.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 8/5/2011
Everett Walton, Attorney at Law
Everett Walton, Attorney at Law | Everett Walton
Forward the complaint and summons to your insurance company certified mail, return receipt requested. They must provide you with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Hawaii
Replied: 8/5/2011
The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
You should contact the insurance company that was providing you coverage at the time of the accident as soon as possible. Apparently, there was no settlement reached with your insurance company, so now the injured party is pursuing their claim through a formal lawsuit.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 8/4/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    Turn it in to you insurance company. The will hire an attorney for you and defend the suit. Perhaps they tried to settle but were unsuccessful.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Offices of Earl K. Straight
    Law Offices of Earl K. Straight | Earl K. Straight
    Since you had insurance at the time of the accident, they will handle the suit for you, including hiring an attorney on your behalf. You must notify them immediately of the suit and forward them copies of the papers you received. What apparently happened is that your insurance company was unable to reach a settlement with the other party, thus the filing of the lawsuit became necessary.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
    Contact the insurance company. They should defend any action against you.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    Your insurance company will provide you with a lawyer. Contact your agent.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Turn the Summons and Complaint over to your insurance company right away and it will defend you free of charge.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Retain and/or consult with a defendant's personal injury lawyer to timely defend you in the litigation.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Immediately contact your insurance agent and tell him about this, and ask him (or her) where to fax the summons and complaint which you received. If you carried bodily injury liability insurance, then your insurance company should provide a defense for you. If your agent tells you that you had insurance for this type of occurrence, immediately call the attorney's office who is suing you, and tell that attorney not to default you, that you are providing the paperwork you were served to your insurance company. Act NOW though, and don't wait. Waiting and not doing something about it could be very damaging to your defense.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Dearbonn Law Offices
    Dearbonn Law Offices | Ajibola Oluyemisi Oladapo
    I suggest you hire an attorney to reprsent you if you are confused and dont know what to do upon service of a lawsuit on you. Please note that this is not legal advise and should not be construed as such.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm | Reza Torkzadeh
    As a plaintiffs lawyer, I am certainly not the most qualified to respond to your question however, I suggest that you immediately speak with your insurance carrier that you had coverage with at the time of the accident.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/19/2012
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry | Ronald Arthur Lowry
    You need to contact your automobile liability insurance company ASAP and tell them you were served with the lawsuit papers. Make arrangements to turn over the papers to the insurer who will arrange for a lawyer to defend the case. The insurer is supposed to defend you free of charge to you and pay any settlement or judgment up to the limits of the policy. Move quickly as delay in turning over the papers to the insurer can sometimes be used by the insurer as a basis for terminating coverage.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Oliver Law Office
    Oliver Law Office | Jami Oliver
    Since you have your own automobile insurance, you should contact your carrier immediately and provide them with a copy of the lawsuit. They should then hire an attorney to defend you.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Call carrier and find out about the attorney. Believe the carrier has an obligation to defend. Did you send the carrier a copy of the complaint?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    You need to advise your insurance company of the lawsuit immediately. They should hire a lawyer to represent you. Be aware you have a very short period of time to respond to the Complaint or you will be defaulted. Go talk to a lawyer right away if your insurance company isn't helping you. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    Kirshner & Groff
    Kirshner & Groff | Richard M. Kirshner
    Turn the papers over to your insurance company
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC | Timothy G. Kearney
    If you were insured at the time of the accident you should turn the writ over to your carrier. If you were not insured you should consult with an attorney to discuss your options. Disclaimer: This answer is not meant, nor should it be construed to be legal advice, Further, it is not intended to, nor does it create a lawyer/client relationship with any firm or individual to whom this answer is communicated.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Turn it right over to your insurance company. They will defend you for free and cover damages up to your policy limits.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    If you had insurance, you need to contact your insurance carrier right away. They will assume the defense for you and pay any amounts you are ordered to pay. They also will try and resolve it on your behalf. If you did not have insurance, you need to seek out the advice of an attorney as soon as possible. There are deadlines regardless of which of the above applies.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    Send the summons and complaint to your auto insurance company. They will handle.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Beaver Holt Sternlicht and Courie, P.A.
    Beaver Holt Sternlicht and Courie, P.A. | Mark A. Sternlicht
    You should contact your insurance company immediately. The insurance company should provide an attorney for you and pay for damages up to the limits of your coverage.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    You insurance company should defend this claim. Contact them and let them know what is going on.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Call your insurance company you had t that time and they will have defend the lawsuit for you
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    Your insurance carrier should defend you and take care of it up to the limits of your coverage. Contact your insurance carrier asap.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi | Elliott Zarabi
    You must take this claim to your insurance company right away! Even if they are no longer your insurance company they were during your claim so they must protect you. If they don't you should contact an attorney about suing your insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    If you had insurance in force at the time, call the insurance company ASAP. Failure to report could be a defense to coverage. If you had no insurance, then you will have to hire your own lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Contact your carrier and send them the papers. They will assign you a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    Give the papers to your insurance company. They will provide you with an attorney and will defend your case.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    Contact your insurance company immediately It should handle this matter for you , particularly since you already notified them of the matter. Probably, the insurance company was unable to settle the matter and so the case has now been filed as a lawsuit. Just make sure you let them know of the suit papers right away in order to avoid a default judgment.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Pivotal Law Group, PLLC
    Pivotal Law Group, PLLC | Christopher L. Thayer
    Report this to your insurance company immediately. As long as you had liability coverage in place at the time, your insurance company should defend you and appoint a lawyer. Act quickly!
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Premier Law Group
    Premier Law Group | Jason Epstein
    Turn the lawsuit over to the insurance company that you had at the time. They will hire a lawyer and defend you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Magnuson Lowell P.S.
    Magnuson Lowell P.S. | Richard S. Lowell
    Contact your insurance company IMMEDIATELY and send them a copy of the summons and complaint. They should hire you an attorney at their expense; and take care of this for you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    Send the papers to the insurance company you had at the time of the accident.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    Call whatever insurer was insuring your car when the accident occurred.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC | Andrew F. Garruto
    Your automobile insurance company will provide you with a defense. Send them a copy of the documents you received and they will hire the lawyer to defend the claims, at no cost to you.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Holzer Edwards
    Holzer Edwards | Kurt Holzer
    All you need to do is contact your insurance company and it will hire you a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates | Sheldon J. Aberman
    You should provide your insurance company, who insured your vehicle at the time of the accident, with a copy of the lawsuit that you received. Pursuant to your automobile insurance policy, your insurance company has a duty to defend and indemnify you for claims arising out of the operation of your automobile, up to your policy limits.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    If you were insured at the time, call your insurance company and let them know you were served with a lawsuit. They will have an attorney assigned to handle the matter for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    your auto insurance company should provide you with an attorney notify it of the suit
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Of course, you may elect to also talk with another attorney in your community, too. But move very quickly, because your attorney will need to file an answer within 30 days of service, to avoid default, along with other important matters. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/4/2011
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