DISCLAIMER- THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE AND DOES NOT ESTABLISH AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. CONSULT QUALIFIED LEGAL COUNSEL IN YOUR CITY OR STATE FOR IMMEDIATE LEGAL ADVICE.
I wasn’t a witness to the accident and do not know if you were, or were not at fault. Probably not a good idea to indicate so in writing to the world (hey—that’s just the lawyer in me). In any case, absent a judgment, you are not obligated to pay anyone anything.
You may have one or more defenses available to you. I would contact a local attorney to see what they are. You may want to go to the AVVO web site and look for an experienced personal injury defense attorney in your area. You may also want to check www.martindale.com or for excellent personal injury defense lawyers.
Why do you think you owe $%K? Who is sending you the bill? The other driver? The other driver’s insurance company? The auto storage facility? Normally these types of items/bills can be negotiated. Especially in today’s fragile economic climate.
Remember that when determining responsibility, it first needs to be determined that you were negligent for causing the accident. So what exactly is negligence? It is the doing of something which a reasonably prudent person would not do, or the failure to do something which a reasonably prudent person would do, under circumstances similar to those shown by the evidence. It is the failure to use ordinary or reasonable care.
Ordinary or reasonable care is that care which persons of ordinary prudence would use in order to avoid injury to themselves or others under circumstances similar to those shown by the evidence. The person whose conduct we set up as a standard is not the extraordinarily cautious individual, nor the exceptionally skillful one, but a person of reasonable and ordinary prudence.
One test that is helpful in determining whether or not a person was negligent is to ask and answer the question whether or not, if a person of ordinary prudence had been in the same situation and possessed of the same knowledge, he or she would have foreseen or anticipated that someone might have been injured by or as a result of his or her action or inaction. If the answer to that question is "yes", and if the action or inaction reasonably could have been avoided, then not to avoid it would be negligence.
If I were you, I would not attempt to handle this case on your own. Too many issues you need to deal with.
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Jon Mitchell "Mitch" Jackson
Jackson & Wilson, Inc.
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2009 “Top Gun” Orange County Trial Lawyer of the Year
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