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Question about being sued after an auto accident.

Milwaukee, WI |

Two vehicles involved in an accident, and both are declared a total loss; both drivers are insured, but I have more comparative negligence. My insurance company sent me a check for the value of my car, less the deductible (no problem). The driver of the other vehicle is not satisfied with what the insurancae company is offering (based on a Blue Book valuation), and is suing me in small claims court to make up the difference. My insurance company refuses to help with the defense of this suit or offer advice. The plaintiff is asking for the maximum allowed by the small claims court, $5,000. What advice can you offer? I thought I was insured against this sort of post-accident litigation?

Attorney Answers 4


Does your policy provide that defense will be provided to you for property damage only lawsuits? The insurance policy will answer your question.

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As I am licensed in Florida and Vermont, I cannot comment specifically on Wisconsin law. However, generally, an auto liability policy provides a defense and coverage for both personal injury and property damage should you be sued. I would suggest that you review your insurance policy to see exactly what they have agreed to defend and pay for. If you are not able to understand your policy, I suggest that you contact a local attorney who can help you interpret the policy.Generally, I would expect an automobile liability insurance company to provide a defense in the circumstance you describe.

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It sounds like your insurance company may be acting in bad faith. I would be happy to take a look at your policy for you at no charge.

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Have you formerly "tendered" the defense the of claim to your insurance company? It sounds like your insurance company is acting in bad faith.

I suggest reading the policy and meeting with your adjuster. Be sure to follow up all correspondence with your insurance company in writing.

Good luck.

Jon Groth

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