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If someone hits me in a car accident and believes I am at fault, can they sue me?

Livonia, MI |

Last fall I was In a car accident where the other party hit me and totaled my car in my work parking lot. They believe I am at fault which I strongly disagree with. They are now trying to sue me for $5,000.

My insurance had expired at the time of the accident.

Attorney Answers 9

Posted

Well it's true that they did sue you. The question is whether they can win. Of course, you should just turn the lawsuit over to your insurer, who will defend and protect you up to your policy limits. If you were uninsured, you will need an attorney to protect your interests. I can help on this front. I'm also in Livonia.

My answer to you question does not constitute legal advice. Only an in person or telephone consultation will result in an attorney/client relationship. Call me at (313)402-0853 to discuss your matter further.

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5 comments

Asker

Posted

Unfourtunately My insurance had expired at the time of the accident. I have since renewed my policy.

Timothy J. Klisz

Timothy J. Klisz

Posted

as you know, that doesn't help you in this case. are you being sure by the driver or their insurer?

Timothy J. Klisz

Timothy J. Klisz

Posted

sued, that is

Asker

Posted

Driver

Timothy J. Klisz

Timothy J. Klisz

Posted

I can help if you are interested in hiring counsel to defend your interests. let me know.

Posted

I see you are from Livonia, Michigan, so it raises a few questions and concerns right away to me. The $5,000 number doesn't make any sense. First, Michigan is a mini tort state, so the most they can get from you is $1,000 for the mini tort, assuming you were actually at fault since I see you strongly disagree with the other driver in this regard. As to the rest, the other driver would be collecting whatever No fault PIP benefits for wage loss, medical bills or replacement services from HIS OWN insurance company, not through you. That's very important because that leaves only a claim for potential pain and suffering as compensation for his or her injuries. For this, you need only turn it over to your own insurance company and they will defend the claim and pay out as appropriate, assuming the other driver has an injury that qualifies under Michigan law. This outline of the 3 cases under Michigan law for auto accidents should help: http://www.michiganautolaw.com/no-fault/3-potential-cases.php

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Daniel J. Melican

Daniel J. Melican

Posted

Good answer.

Asker

Posted

I know this only makes it worse but my insurance had unfortunately expired at the time of the accident. She was not injured, I had minor injuries that I did not seek medical help for. She had no loss wages to my knowledge, I did. I'm just confused because she hit me and totaled my car, over $7,000 in damages, so why am I responsible for owing her $5,000?

Posted

The $5,000.00 figure doesn't make sense. What damages are they suing for? Did you get served with a complaint? Turn it over to your insurance company immediately!

Always consult an attorney IMMEDIATELY as there are time limitations on filing a lawsuit.

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Asker

Posted

I have not seen the papers yet, they sent them to my moms house she just told me about it. My insurance expired at the time of the accident

Posted

Anyone can commence a lawsuit against anyone. Winning is a whole different story. Report this to your insurance company and they will assign a defense attorney to represent you as well as pay any judgment up to your policy lilmits.

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Daniel J. Melican

Daniel J. Melican

Posted

They have to get some attorney to take their case unless they are prepared to represent themselves.

Posted

Without an insurance policy and company to defend you, you are going to be personally liable for this lawsuit. I advise you to hire your own lawyer asap.

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Asker

Posted

I know I would be personally liable, if I were at fault for this accident. It just doesn't make sense or seem fair to me that she hits my car resulting in $7,000 in damages, I suffered minor injuries, missed a day of work, went thru a lot of stress from this and losing my car of 8 years, and on top of it, I now apparently owe her $5,000??

David B Pittman

David B Pittman

Posted

The problem is the no insurance so you have no one to defend your position that you are not at fault. normally your insurance company would defend you....

Daniel J. Melican

Daniel J. Melican

Posted

Was anyone ticketed? Have you reviewed the police report? Who is listed as being at fault? Even in what appears to be a clear cut case of the other side being at fault you will regularly find people who claim it was not their fault even if it makes little sense. It's often he said she said. He pulled out in front of me. She was speeding. etc. etc.

David B Pittman

David B Pittman

Posted

Mr. Melican makes a great point. you are going to have to investigate all this and make your own defense or hire and pay for a lawyer to help you...

Posted

In Michigan-- if you had insurance on your car, the other driver or his insurance company can only pursue you for up to $1,000 (mini tort) for the damage of your vehicle. They have to prove that it is your fault. Now, you say you don't have insurance-- this opens you up to personally liability to all damage to the vehicle as well as potentially pain and suffering damages if they pursue that. Again, they have to prove it was more your fault/that you were negligent. I would consult a lawyer in person. Also look how the insurance 'lapsed'-- there maybe something there (unlikely); sometimes the insurance company does not 'cancel' it properly.

not a complete and all encompassing informative guide to the law. Every year, the Michigan Law changes in some fashion. New laws are passed and the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court decide cases that change the law. As a result, we recommend that you contact a licensed attorney who specializes in this area of the law.

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Posted

Since you did not have insurance, if you are sued, you'd want to retain one of the above lawyers in your state to defend.

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Posted

Yes, they can sue you. Perhaps you should attempt to work out an amicable settlement and obtain a full and complete release from the other party. If you are sued, I suggest you retain a civil defense attorney to assist you.

Legal Disclaimer:

If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

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 ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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Posted

I think the $5,000 figure may be because they filed against you in small claims court and I think that is the new jurisdictional limit. You should contact one of the AVVO attorneys to find out for sure what the relationship is between the 'mini tort' and the fact that you auto insurance had lapsed. No matter what, do not ignore the court papers. make sure you file some kind of denial to the complaint.

Each employment situation has unique facts and circumstances. This means that information and advice cannot be taken literally and should be used as only informational. The information provided here is not legal advice and should not be interpreted as such.

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