January 02, 2009,
C.M. asks from Detroit, MI on December 30, 2008
Mom Seeking Advice/info on Car Accident and Being Sued
I received a summons in the mail regarding a car accident I had back in February of this year. It turns out that the driver of the other car wants to sue me for life long injuries (medical bills), loss of bodily functions and inability to work.
She stated in the report that she was attempting to make a left hand turn when I ran into the back of her car. It was also stated that her car is valued at $500.00
I did have auto insurance at the time. I can't reach the claim person assigned to may case until tommorrow. In the meantime I'm trying to reach someone who has gone through this experience.
Can this person take everything I own? Will my insurance company pay for this? Should I get a lawyer? (I was told someone from the insurance co. will represent me)
Anyone gone through this?
So What Happened?™
I had auto insurance at the time of the accident and I currently have auto insurance.
any advise would be appreciated.
C.B. answers from Detroit on December 31, 2008
As long as the representative has a license to practice law. I would get a lawyer and have the ins. rep on hand as extra information.
J.H. answers from Detroit on December 31, 2008
Brenda, feel free to call my dad who is an attorney. He will let you know if you need a lawyer and he will not charge you for this initial phone call. Allen Schwartz ###-###-####. He is out of Farmington Hills. Tell him his daughter J. recommended you call him. Good luck!
N.W. answers from Detroit on December 31, 2008
Brendan- I am an attorney. Most likely your insurance company at the time you had the accident will hire an attorny to defend you. Depending on how much coverage you had they will settle the case or pay any verdict. If the verdict or settlement is over the amount of your insurance coverage you will liable for the remaining amounts.
Generally, b/c MI is no-fault, the injured parties insurance company pays for their medical and wage loss (up to three years). In addition, to be able to sue you, she must have what is commonly refered to as a threshold injury...either death (obviously she is alive) or a very very serious injury. Most of these cases are resolved b/c there is no threshold injury.
At this point, I would wait until you talk to your claims agent. Depending on how you were served- mail or in person-- you have 21-28 days to respond to the complaint.
1 mom found this helpful
S.C. answers from Lansing on December 31, 2008
Hi Brenda. I worked for a local insurance company from 2001 to 2006. Please hang on and talk to your claim representative. The insurance company has an entire team of attorneys. Was your claim ever closed? Has the company paid out the maximum for which they are liable? Do you have an umbrella policy? You may not need to hire an attorney. I would ask the claim rep. Believe me. Your insurance company will fight. They don't want to pay out any more than they have to. He or she will tell you if you need your own attorney. I doubt you will. This is why you have insurance. The insurance company should be handling this for you. With Michigan being a no-fault state, this person cannot take everything you own. The other driver's company can sue your company. Good luck!
A.T. answers from Jackson on December 31, 2008
The other driver is making a "Bodily Injury" claim. It's unfortunate you were served but yes, your insurance company will represent you in this situation - I'm saying this believing you are a Michigan resident involved in a Michigan auto accident. Being served is very frightening and I can understand your concern. Fax or mail your summons (or both) to your claims adjuster who should get it to the correct person/department. Best of luck!
R.H. answers from Cincinnati on December 31, 2008
This is why you have insurance. One reason at least. Everything should be handled by the insurance company. It really isn't YOU she is sueing...but your insurance company.
A.M. answers from Saginaw on December 31, 2008
I work at an insurance agency. Did this happen in Michigan? The advice that Pamela S gave you was right on. This should be covered by the bodily injury limit that you carry on your insurance policy. Did the other driver have insurance? It is sounding like she didn't because if she did her insurance company would have to cover her medical bills, it is unlimited for life in the case of an auto accident. I know this is scary but you should be fine. Talk to your insurance agent as soon as possible. They should be able to put you at ease. P.S. It may make you feel better to get an initial consultation with a lawyer... the first time is usually free.
S.S. answers from Detroit on December 31, 2008
Talk to a lawyer, quick.
J.M. answers from Detroit on January 01, 2009
Your insurance company will hire a lawyer for you and will pay a settlement or judgement up to the limits of your insurance. In Michigan, there is a mandatory minimum of required insurance of $20,000 per person, and can go up from there.
This can be complicated, but in a nutshell: the injured person's own insurance has to pay for all of their medical bills, 85% of their wage loss for up to 3 years, and some other benefits. You are potentially liable for the pain and suffering of the other person (called "non-economic damages"), and some economic damages (such as wage loss which isn't covered by the other person's own insurance).
In order to recover for non-economic damages, the person has to have something called a "threshold injury". Not every injury qualifies. The judge is supposed to look at a variety of factors (or the jury will look at them if the judge can't decide) to determine if the person's objective injuries have affected their general ability to lead their normal life. Such things include work loss, changes in their lifestyle they have had to make because of their injuries, etc. (Serious permanent disfigurement and death also meet this "threshold injury" standard).
Call your insurance company and cooperate with your lawyer.
M.R. answers from Detroit on December 31, 2008
Michigan is a no-fault state, she CANNOT come after you personally, her insurance company can sue yours, but she shouldn't be able to come after you, but just in case I would get a lawyer.