No damage to my vehicle, little damage to his. No police report filed at time of accident. Now, 3 weeks later I'm receiving a letter from his attorney stating he has bodily injury. I did not have bodily injury coverage... he has notified my insurance company and they will pay his damage which is about $600. What can he get out of sueing me, I dont have anything? Should I spend money getting a lawyer or have one appointed to me by the courts?
I agree with the prior attorneys, except I don't think your insurance company will provide a defense for you in a bodily injury claim because you didn't carry BI insurance. I would hope that once the attorney is informed by your insurance company that you don't carry bodily injury protection the claim will be dropped. Courts do not appoint attorneys for you in civil cases, you are thinking of public defenders in criminal cases.
Yes, you can be sued. Turn everything over to your insurance company to resolve.
The answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is for informational purposes only.
Lassen Law Firm
1515 Market St #1510
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Yes you can be sued. But if you have no assets to go after, you may in fact be "judgment proof." This means that, even if you lose the court battle, the plaintiff will have a piece of paper saying you owe them money. Getting you to pay the money (if you have none, or barely enough to support yourself), is another matter entirely. This will negatively affect your credit.
Certainly, discussing the matter, in detail, with an attorney in your area would be the best course of action to get the best possible advice.
Good luck to you.
An attorney will not be appointed for you by the court, as this is a civil matter. While Florida does not require you to carry bodily injury liability coverage, it is foolhardy to operate a vehicle without it. I suggest you contact an independent insurance agent and secure adequate coverage to avoid this type of problem in the future.
Any plaintiff who obtains a judgment against you can attempt to collect it for many years. You may not be earning much now, but you may in the future or perhaps you will inherit money in the future. I suggest that you contact the attorney and advise the attorney that you have no coverage. This will encourage the attorney to look to the injured party's uninsured motorist coverage. However, that may only delay the inevitable, as the UM carrier will have the ability to sue you for their losses.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
This is a very common situation. A minor fender-bender, no apparent injuries at the scene of the accident and at some point down the road you are advised that you are being sued. First let me say that it is not uncommon for people to appear uninjured soon after a car accident as many "soft tissue" injuries such as muscle sprains/strains and wiplash type injuries manifest over several hours and days after an accident and if it involves disk injuries can continue to deterioriate. Additionally, people can receive significant injuries even in a low impact collision. So I would first begin by agreeing with previous responses and suggest that you call your insurance company and add bodily injury coverage asap. Second, I would suggest that you also consider adding underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage to you own policy as well (as many people tend to carry minimal coverage and even a small injury can quickly exhaust policy limits and leave you with no money to recover for your injuries and medical expenses. Also, as mentioned, unless your insurance company provides you a lawyer (which since you do not have bodily injury coverage they may not have to), you will be representing yourself. So I would first suggest that you call your insurance company and see if they are providing defense or not. If they are not, I would suggest that you call a local attorney and request a free consultation so you can discuss your options. While I agree with many of the responses that once the injured party's attorney discovers a lack of coverage, he may not pursue the matter further (cost out weighs benefit), that is not always the case and a judgment can be devistating (even if you are judgment proof it can still make your life miserable).
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