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I was involved in an auto accident a year ago where a driver from another country hit my car and as a result, I hit a pedestrian

Modesto, CA |

Basically, the impact from the other car forced my car onto the sidewalk (totaling the car in the process), thus hitting the pedestrian. He went to the hospital and did not have any acute injuries. The insurance companies got together and deemed I was not at fault and I ended up even getting money for a new car. Now the pedestrian is suing me for almost a million dollars when I was already stated to be not at fault. The at fault driver is not coming back to the US for a trial either and I feel that I'm now being sued so he can get money. Would this be a case where I should settle as everything does not point at me? Any advice - I'm worried that they'll try to garnish my wages and I already have a family to take care of.

I am currently in school to be a finance person, thus worried that they think I will be rich one day and try to garnish wages.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Best answer

    Your insurance company will hire counsel to defend you. Your defense counsel and your insurance company may attempt to settle the case rather than take it to trial. The plaintiff will have to decide whether to accept a settlement from your insurance or take it to trial and attempt to get a judgment against you and collect. Even though another vehicle caused you to be pushed into the pedestrian, you still have the defense that the accident was caused by another driver. If you don't have defense counsel you should contact your insurance company right away and fax the complaint to them.

  2. While I cannot give you legal advice in this forum, this is a serious matter. You should contact your insurance company immediatly about the lawsuit and hire an attorney. Most likely, your insurance company will find, hire, and pay for the attorney. However, you should make sure you are satisfied with that attorney given the amount of the claim - which may exceed the limits of your policy.

  3. The first thing you want to do is turn this over to your insurance company. The will provide a lawyer at no cost to you, and they will pay any judgment against you (if there is one) up to the amount of your auto insurance. Good Luck

  4. As long as you had automobile insurance which covered you and/or the vehicle you were driving on the date of the accident, you will likely have free counsel to handle this matter for you. Included in the automobile insurance contracts is an agreement that your insurance provider will provide you with a free attorney (you pay for the attorney with your insurance premiums, etc.) to defend you in such a matter. The first step is to report this to your auto insurance provider and they will take it from there. You will likely hear from the attorney the insurance provider appoints, but the attorney will be in a better position to negotiate/handle this matter.

    As a matter of interest, the law in Illinois (I am not aware of the law in California) states that the decision made by the insurance companies that you were not at fault does not preclude the pedestrian from pursuing damages against you and the other driver for his injuries. If the facts are as you stated, you may not be found liable for the injuries to the plaintiff, as it appears you were pushed into the pedestrian through no fault of your own. However, an attorney appointed by your insurance company (or an attorney you hire personally if it comes down to it) will be able to properly investigate the claim and make a better determination for you.

    The foregoing communication is intended only as general advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship, nor does the foregoing communication in fact create an attorney-client relationship. The foregoing communication is not protected under any doctrine of privilege, including but not limited to attorney-client privilege.

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