Use the indemnification document signed by your "friend" to defeat the filed claim now made.
"The former friend signed a paper saying he would not file a claim against me ..."
Nice Friend, Huh? First thing that you need to do is to inform your insurance company that your friend is now pursuing a claim against you. Do this is in writing immediately.
Give the insurance company a copy of the writing signed by your friend. The carrier will assign an attorney at its expense to defend you.
If the attorney representing the friend is the same guy who represented both of you, tell this to the insurance company lawyer. That lawyer will have your former lawyer disqualified on the basis of a conflict of interest and it may even lead to disciplinary proceedings.
Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. The answer given is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for contacting an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction and obtaining legal advice from such an attorney.
Obviously this is a difficult situation to be involved in, for both you and your friend.
Whenever a car accident occurs you can count on one fact: there will be two sides to the story. Unless your vehicle was rear ended it is possible that there will be some type of split of responsibility between you as driver and the other driver. Even if the other driver. seems completely at fault it is not possible to guarantee an outcome. Even with excellent facts on your side, for example if the other driver ran a stop sign or made a left-hand turn in front of you, a Jury can determine that you shared a small portion of the blame due to your speed or inattention or whatever other issue the defendant may be arguing.
This is why all lawyers recommend that their clients bring cases against each driver in an accident. The truth is even if your friend did not sue you, the other driver would, claiming that you shared the blame for the accident and to the extent that he had to pay your friend so do you. Obviously this explanation will not go a long way to repairing your friendship but hopefully it will help explain why you have been dragged into the case.
The good news is that your insurance company will take care of everything for you. contact them as soon as possible, tell them your side of the story if you haven't already and they will hire an attorney to represent you. good luck.
The aforementioned opinion does not constitute legal advice and is for general educational purposes only. See an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction for competent legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed through the within legal question and answer session.
As my colleagues point out, notify the proper insurance carrier in writing as soon as possible. Unfortunately your situation is fairly common. As far as your "friend" is concerned, he is being guided by counsel and it's what you have insurance for.
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Im assuming you were driving the car and insured it and your friend was a passenger. Regardless of whether your "friend" is able to file a claim against you after agreeing not to, you should notify your insurance company who will defend the claim being brought against you.
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