I have a "Friend" who is filing a claim against me after an accident... what should i do?

Asked over 1 year ago - Jamaica, NY

I have a former friend who is filing a claim against me after an accident. We were both using the same lawyer at one point to file a claim against the guy who was in the other vehicle but I decided to drop legal assistance. The former friend signed a paper saying he would not file a claim against me right in front of me. Is he able to go back and change his mind? I would like to know the proper procedure and what steps I could take to defend myself.

Additional information

Also... the friend isn't really hurt.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Anthony A. Ferrante

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Obviously this is a difficult situation to be involved in, for both you and your friend.

    Whenever a car accident occurs you can count on one fact: there will be two sides to the story. Unless your vehicle was rear ended it is possible that there will be some type of split of responsibility between you as driver and the other driver. Even if the other driver. seems completely at fault it is not possible to guarantee an outcome. Even with excellent facts on your side, for example if the other driver ran a stop sign or made a left-hand turn in front of you, a Jury can determine that you shared a small portion of the blame due to your speed or inattention or whatever other issue the defendant may be arguing.

    This is why all lawyers recommend that their clients bring cases against each driver in an accident. The truth is even if your friend did not sue you, the other driver would, claiming that you shared the blame for the accident and to the extent that he had to pay your friend so do you. Obviously this explanation will not go a long way to repairing your friendship but hopefully it will help explain why you have been dragged into the case.

    The good news is that your insurance company will take care of everything for you. contact them as soon as possible, tell them your side of the story if you haven't already and they will hire an attorney to represent you. good luck.

    The aforementioned opinion does not constitute legal advice and is for general educational purposes only. See an... more
  2. Michael Evan Greenspan

    Contributor Level 16

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Nice Friend, Huh? First thing that you need to do is to inform your insurance company that your friend is now pursuing a claim against you. Do this is in writing immediately.

    Give the insurance company a copy of the writing signed by your friend. The carrier will assign an attorney at its expense to defend you.

    If the attorney representing the friend is the same guy who represented both of you, tell this to the insurance company lawyer. That lawyer will have your former lawyer disqualified on the basis of a conflict of interest and it may even lead to disciplinary proceedings.

    Good luck

    Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. The answer given is for... more
  3. James Joseph Cupero

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Notify the company which insured the car you were driving. They will retain an attorney to represent you.

  4. Craig A. Post

    Contributor Level 17

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As my colleagues point out, notify the proper insurance carrier in writing as soon as possible. Unfortunately your situation is fairly common. As far as your "friend" is concerned, he is being guided by counsel and it's what you have insurance for.

    Disclaimer- The information you obtain at our web-site or through postings on such sites as this is not, nor is it... more
  5. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Use the indemnification document signed by your "friend" to defeat the filed claim now made.

    "The former friend signed a paper saying he would not file a claim against me ..."

  6. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Report it to your insurance company to resolve.

  7. Gregory Scott Newman

    Contributor Level 2

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Im assuming you were driving the car and insured it and your friend was a passenger. Regardless of whether your "friend" is able to file a claim against you after agreeing not to, you should notify your insurance company who will defend the claim being brought against you.

    Attorney Advertising. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite... more

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