Someone may be suing me and possibly claiming injury do to being rear-ended

Asked almost 2 years ago - Kalamazoo, MI

Happened about a year ago. It wasn't a bad rear-end collision, my car had no damage done at all. Though, his back bumper appeared to be damaged a bit. (I'm thinking there may have already been damage there or something that was temporarily "fixed") No injuries were claimed and no ambulances were needed. When the police officer was inspecting the cars he seemed shocked that there wasn't any damage on my car but the other guys car was. I received a letter a few weeks after the incident from the guy's lawyer or someone claiming the guy suffered injury from the collision and was planning on suing me. I received a card for "restricted" mail to be picked up from the post office and I'm thinking it is from him. What should i do? Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Additional information

The conditions were rainy(pouring), dark(no streetlights), the guy said that he saw me coming up behind him fast so he tried to speed up so I wouldn't hit him and had to slam on the brakes because he almost hit the car in front of him. So his brake lights weren't on when he was speeding up and he suddenly braked.
I was ticketed for inability to stop, which I understand completely why they have to do that.
When it happened, I hit him from behind straight on. The damage to his bumped was near the right tail-light, and I honestly didn't notice anything when I got out to look, but when he got out of the drivers side (the front-left side) he seemed to notice right away from the opposite end of the car and ran to the back right of the car and claimed it was from me. The man was an older man in his 70's, so it seemed fishy that he could see the damage right away from the opposite end of the car in the dark rainy night. I don't wanna jump to conclusions and call him a fraud, but it all seemed fishy to me.

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Steven M. Gursten

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Damage to a car does not always equate with damage to a car's occupant, and some injuries can appear right away but none the less can be very serious or become progressively worse. For example, if it is a disc injury, the car accident could have caused a tear in the annulus, and as the other driver started moving around in days that followed the disc material could have gradually come out of tear, putting pressure on nerves or the spinal cord. Very serious, but would explain why there is not pain immediately.
    What to do? Report it immediately to your insurance company. They will hire a lawyer to defend the claim and pay within your policy limit to defend you.
    I highly doubt the restricted mail is from the other lawyer. I know this is stressful, but this really is why you purchase insurance in the first place, so the odds are very good it will eventually all resolve itself.

  2. Scott Robert Reizen

    Contributor Level 11

    4

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . I agree with the previous posters.

    I would accept service. Otherwise, the attorney for other individual in accident will keep trying to serve you. Upon receipt, turn over to your insurance company at once. All of your arguments regarding the accident (and its circumstances and factors) can be made to your attorney.

    Best of luck.

    SR

  3. Daniel Nelson Deasy

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Did you have automobile liability insurance?

    If so, report the matter to those folks right away (if you have switched carriers, call the folks you had on the date of the collision). Your carrier has a duty to defend you -- meaning pay for an attorney -- and a duty to indemnify you -- meaning pay damages up to your policy limit.

    If you did not have insurance, you are personally responsible for any damages and probably need some legal help to negotiate a resolution.

    Good luck!

    In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship.... more
  4. Robert Don Fink

    Contributor Level 16

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Damage to a car has been proven to have little significance to injury potential to the occupants of the car. That said, you should notify your insurance company and they should retain a lawyer to defend you.

    This response is not intended to act as legal advice. I am not licensed to practice law in any state other than... more
  5. Bret A. Schnitzer

    Contributor Level 16

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Did you have automobile insurance? If so, notify your insurance company at once and let them handle it. If you are served with a lawsuit, make certain you turn it over to your insurance company. If you do not have insurance, than you should probably consult with an attorney and be ready in the event you are sued. If you are served with a lawsuit you have a limited amount of time to answer the lawsuit and you don't want to be defaulted for failure to answer it.

    You should consult an attorney in your State at once.
  6. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Just turn this entire matter over to your automobile liability insurance carrier at the time of this incident. They have a duty to investigate the matter, defend you and indemnify you up to your limit of coverage. You have an obligation to cooperate with their investigation.

    Legal disclaimer

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