If the judgment exceeds the coverage of your car insurance, or if your insurance denies that the claim is covered by your insurance (and therefore you have no insurance coverage for the judgment), then you would be personally liable for the judgment. While you could potentially waive notice of proceedings and service of court papers after the complaint, that would not eliminate you from being bound by, and liable for, a judgment--and if your insurance company doesn't defend the case, that could be a default judgment.
This answer is provided as a public service and as a general response to a general question, it is not meant, and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. It is also not intended as advertising.
Send the papers you received to you insurance company, that's why you have insurance and they have a duty to defend you. If the judgement exceeds your policy you might be personally liable, but it is very hard to give you an answer without knowing more details. Like what was precentage of your fault?
Your insurance company has a duty to defend you in this action, so you could let them handle it for now. Your insurance also has a duty to settle if liability is undisputed. That said, if your insurance fails to defend or the judgment exceeds the policy limits, then you may have something to worry about. You're name appears because you and your insurer are co-defendants. Whatever your insurance doesn't pay, you could be on the hook for.
In a situation like this, you do not sue the insurance company. You sue other drivers or individuals. Insurance may provide covrage or not, but that is a different question than whether a driver or individual is liable for damages. More likely than not, your insurer will provide coverage and provide a defense for you. Hopefully the case will resolve within the policy limits. However, if there is a judgment or settlment for an amount higher than the policy limits, you personally will be on the hook.
This response is for information purpose only and does not constitute a legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship.
You can't take your name out of the process. Turn everything over to your automobile liability insurance carrier and cooperate with your carrier in defending the action.
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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.
In NY, generally an owner of a vehicle is vicariously liable for the actions of the driver (with some statutory exceptions). Therefore, the owner and driver both get sued. Your insurance company, as part of the insurance agreement, undertook a duty to defend the driver and owner from any lawsuits stemming from the operation fo the vehicle. The only time you may be personally liable is if your insurance company does not want to settle within the policy limits, and a verdict/judgment is obtained that is greater than the policy limits. Only in this case, can the plaintiff go after your personal assets. In most cases, the insurance does settle within the limits. There is no way for you to get out of the lawsuit if you owned the vehicle. You should contact your insurance and get the information of the attorneys who will represent you. Speak to them and provide them with all the documents that you received so far (especially the Summons and Complaint).
I agree with the other attorneys.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. NY Attorney, Daniel Buttafuoco, has been voted BEST LAWYER five years in a row and has represented clients all over the United States. 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. Daniel Buttafuoco strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in order to ensure proper advice is received. www.1800NowHurt.com
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