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I was involved in a car accident a couple months ago and recently received in the mail a notice from the DMV...

Marina Del Rey, CA |

I was involved in a car accident a couple months ago and recently received in the mail a notice from the DMV indicating that my residence address has been requested and released to pursuant to vehicle code section 1808.22 to the personal injury firm the other driver I believe is using. I was insured at the time. What does such notice usually mean is going on, and what steps should I take?

Attorney Answers 10

Posted

It sounds like you will be sued and served with a Summons and a Complaint.
Don't worry. You just hand it over immediately to your insurer and they will defend you.
I can hazard a guess that your insurer will not be totally surprised because they probably denied liability already. The adverse driver has no other alternative if he thinks you were at fault.
Good luck to you!

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6 comments

Asker

Posted

I had very minimal insurance at the time, so how does this work if my insurer tried to offer the driver an amount but he did not settle? Do I still immediately hand the summon/complaint over to the insurer?

Barry P. Goldberg

Barry P. Goldberg

Posted

Ya---absolutely. Remember the insurer will defend you even if it costs more to defend than the amount of insurance you have. The plaintiff will have a strong incentive to accept only your insurance because most people can never pay any significant amount above their insurance. Hang in there. These things work out more often than not.

Richard Andrew Harting

Richard Andrew Harting

Posted

This is standard investigation when an attorney has been retained in a car accident case to determine who owns the vehicle involved, confirm your address of record and possibly a review of your driving record.

Asker

Posted

I'm a little confused. So let's say that the insurer offers the person $X for the accident as a settlement and then the person wants more. At that point the person's lawyer decides that he wants to sue me directly? Or does he try to go for more from the insurer? What if he wants more than what my insurance provides? So in other words when does the insurer defend me?

Barry P. Goldberg

Barry P. Goldberg

Posted

I know it is unnatural to you but, you have very little control over what the other party does and why. However, your insurer will defend you no matter what. Hopefully, it will all eventually work out within your policy limits---it usually does. If a jury verdict comes on above your policy limits, you will be liable for that amount. So---- vigorously defend the case! Not knowing the particulars of your case, I cannot evaluate how likely an excess verdict will be. However, I can say that it has been fairly rare in my 29 years of practice that people are able to collect personal assets against a defendant unless they have very significant wealth. I hope this comment helps a little! You are welcome to call me and discuss your further concerns without any charge on my part. Barry Goldberg

Richard Andrew Harting

Richard Andrew Harting

Posted

The lawyer will continue to negotiate. Unfortunately many insurers will low-ball the claim hoping they can save money. If you do get sued turn the papers over to your insurer immediately and they will defend you.

Posted

They are likely getting your information for service of a complaint. Turn the lawsuit over to your auto insurance carrier.

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Richard Andrew Harting

Richard Andrew Harting

Posted

This is standard investigation when an attorney has been retained in a car accident case to determine who owns the vehicle involved, confirm your address of record and possibly a review of your driving record.

Posted

Your insurance company will defend, so report the accident to them, and send them all the documents that you get.

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Richard Andrew Harting

Richard Andrew Harting

Posted

This is standard investigation when an attorney has been retained in a car accident case to determine who owns the vehicle involved, confirm your address of record and possibly a review of your driving record.

Posted

That's usually the first step in a lawsuit. Once served with the lawsuit, make sure you tender it to your insurance carrier. They will proceed accordingly I your behalf...

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Richard Andrew Harting

Richard Andrew Harting

Posted

This is standard investigation when an attorney has been retained in a car accident case to determine who owns the vehicle involved, confirm your address of record and possibly a review of your driving record.

Posted

An attorney has requested your residence address from the DMV in preparation of service of process on you. Simply accept the service of process from the party serving you with the Complaint and then forward it to your insurance carrier for handling. Your insurance carrier is obligated to defend you. Ask them to keep you fully advised as to what occurs. Good luck.

Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The response herein is general legal and business analysis.. It is not intended nor construed to be "legal advice" but rather it is analysis, and different lawyers may analyze this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in 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. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

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Richard Andrew Harting

Richard Andrew Harting

Posted

This is standard investigation when an attorney has been retained in a car accident case to determine who owns the vehicle involved, confirm your address of record and possibly a review of your driving record.

Posted

If a car accident claim is not resolved and this request is formally made, it is an indication that a lawsuit has been filed. Service of the lawsuit and summons usually follows. Upon receipt, turn the matter along with the litigation paperwork over to your insurer to defend you. Contact a local attorney if there is an issue of any excess claim or any coverage issue resulting from the car accident.

24 Hour Attorney Call Center (314) 361-4242 or visit us on the Web at http://www.hoffmannpersonalinjury.com.

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Richard Andrew Harting

Richard Andrew Harting

Posted

This is standard investigation when an attorney has been retained in a car accident case to determine who owns the vehicle involved, confirm your address of record and possibly a review of your driving record.

Posted

They are likely trying to determine whether you are insured or not. It shouldn't be a major problem for you. However, you should notify your insurance company about this DMV activity.

Good luck!

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DISCLAIMER: The information gathered from this website, Tryk Law or Benjamin P. Tryk is not legal advice. If you are in search of legal advice, you should consult with an attorney about your specific situation. Communicating with Tryk Law, Accident Injury Attorneys through the use of this website does not establish an attorney/client relationship. You should not disclose any information that you consider confidential until an attorney/client relationship has been created.

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Richard Andrew Harting

Richard Andrew Harting

Posted

This is standard investigation when an attorney has been retained in a car accident case to determine who owns the vehicle involved, confirm your address of record and possibly a review of your driving record.

Posted

This is standard investigation when an attorney has been retained in a car accident case to determine who owns the vehicle involved, confirm your address of record and possibly a review of your driving record.

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Posted

I tend to agree with the responding counsel. You should contact your insurance carrier and let them protect you in your case. If you were injured in the matter, then you should contact a personal injury attorney as well to help you receive the compensation you need. Best of luck.

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Posted

Ever since actress Rebecca Schaeffer was killed at her doorstep by a lunatic, the DMV changed its procedures for providing the address of licensed motorists. Before, all you needed was to make the request. Since then the information will only be provided to certain persons and then, only for specific reasons like trying to locate someone to serve a lawsuit, etc. which this seems to be the case. Usually a sworn declaration must be provided setting forth the reason why the information is sought. When the information is released, they DMV must notify you that your information was released, to whom and for what purpose. If you have been recently involved in an automobile accident, this is likely the first step the other attorney is taking to serve you with a lawsuit. Sometimes, it means the the other attorney sought just your driver's license record and/or any vehicle records.

The responses provided at this site are not and are not intended to be, legal advice or a guarantee of the outcome of your matter. Likewise, it is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship will only be created after a case has been evaluated, we have cleared a conflict check and a written retainer is signed.

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