Can my insurance refuse to pay a personal injury claim of a person who rode in the other car during an accident I was at fault ?

Asked over 5 years ago - Pittsburgh, PA

Apparently this person who was riding in the car had recently had neck surgery and had been told by the doctor not to ride/drive in a car.

The accident happened 2 years ago during an electrical storm where power went out and a tree came down across the road. Couldn't see the other car, my car hit it.

Can this injured person sue me personally, after my insurance said no, and how can I pay for legal help if I am unemployed now?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . While I am licensed in both Florida and Vermont, I cannot give you specific advice as to Pennsylvania law. However, as a general rule, your insurance company can deny any claim. It is then up to the adverse party to bring suit.

    If and when you are sued, your insurance company then has a contractual obligation to defend the claim under the terms of the insurance coverage you purchased. Your insurance company is obligated to pay an attorney to defend the complaint filed against you. You will not need to spend any of your money to hire an attorney.

    You have an obligation to inform your insurance company if you are sued. If you are served a Summons and Complaint, you should immediately send a copy of them to your insurance carrier, by certified mail, and demand that they defend this claim against you.

  2. Blake Lamont Kelley

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . First the disclaimer: I am licensed in TN, therefore I cannot give you specific advice as to Pennsylvania law. However, as a general rule, your insurance company can deny any claim. It is then up to the adverse party to bring suit within the statute of limitations for that state.

    If you are sued, your insurance company has a contractual obligation to defend the claim under the terms of the insurance coverage you purchased. Your insurance company is obligated to pay an attorney to defend the complaint filed against you. You, personally will not have to pay an attorney.

    You should inform your insurance company if you are sued. When you are served a Summons and Complaint, you should immediately send a copy of them to your insurance carrier, preferably by certified mail, and ask that they defend this claim against you. The Insurance company usually has a law firm or an attorney that defends cases similar to your case.

  3. Peter Robert Stone

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . Your insurance company will have to defend you. They are denying liability/or damages not coverage. So if the other party comes after you, you give the letter or lawsuit immediately to your carrier and they will defend you and they will pay if they lose. Just beacuse they say the person could not be injured, doesn't mean they don't have to protect you.

    Peter :)

    This answer is from a California attorney based upon general principles of law, contact a local attorney immediately.

  4. Cynthia M Morgan

    Contributor Level 6

    Answered . As every date has different laws, it would be a good idea to talk to a lawyer in your state.

    Generally, insurance companies are only required to pay your medical bills or your passengers under the PIP portion of the policy. If the passenger decides to sue you for injuries that resulted from the crash, your insurance company is required to retain an attorney to defend you per your policy. That attorney will bring affirmative defenses on your behalf claiming the passenger contributed to his own injury by riding against doctor advise and will also likely claim the accident was not your fault due to the weather.

  5. Joseph Dewey O'Neil

    Contributor Level 5

    Answered . An insurance company's 'duty to defend' is greater than its duty to actually pay for a claim. I would be very surprised if they did not agree to represent you, after issuing a 'reservation of rights'. Essentially, they should defend you even if they dispute coverage.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

27,455 answers this week

2,981 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

27,455 answers this week

2,981 attorneys answering