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  1. #1
    JMpls is offline Junior Member
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    Being sued by insurance company

    Minnesota

    I was involved in an accident Nov of 2011. I had just purchased my vehicle 2 weeks prior to this, and against better judgement did not have car insurance on it. It was blizzard conditions on a 4 lane highway (couldn't see lines). I was in the far right lane, going 30 (along with every other vehicle) and my car started to slide towards the right (shoulder). I was hit on my back drivers side bumper and spun multiple times all the way across the freeway and stopped in the far left lane. The lady who hit me, was hit by another driver behind her (no insurance).
    Both of their cars were towed, mine had very minor damage. The State Trooper ticketed me for no insurance, and allowed me to drive away stating he doesn't get involved in accidents, and just gives all of us each other's information.
    The woman's insurance company started calling, and I was told to ignore them until I went to court for my ticket. I went to court the following March, and was told I had two options. Pay the woman who hit me, $565 for her co-pay to her insurance company and the no insurance ticket would be lessened to "driver's license violation" or go before the judge for my no insurance ticket, be fined up to $1,000, have it on my record, and still possibly have to pay her $565. I of course, agreed to pay her the $565. My court paper states if I complete the "probation period" of 6 months with no tickets, and pay her, the case is dismissed. Which it was.
    After months of ignoring her insurance company I called them to discuss the situation. The lady immediately kept telling me I was at fault for "driving erratically" and having no insurance. I told her i disagreed, and didn't plan on paying them a dime. She threatened to send it to a lawyer, and that was that.
    Couple months later, I started getting the same statement from a law firm, stating I had to get in touch with them within 10 days or they would proceed to sue. Everyone kept telling me to just leave it alone, and it would go away. I probably should of seeked out legal advice months ago. After receiving multiple letters, I was served papers last night.
    The insurance company is suing me for $7,100 in damages. I'm not sure what kind of lawyer I need to speak with. I realize how dumb of a mistake I made not getting insurance right away, but do not feel I am reliable for the damages to her vehicle. Can they still use the "no insurance" card against me in court, even though I was never charged with it? And what kind of lawyer do I need to seek out to represent me with this? Thanks in advance.
  2. #2
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMpls View Post
    Minnesota

    I was involved in an accident Nov of 2011. I had just purchased my vehicle 2 weeks prior to this, and against better judgement did not have car insurance on it. It was blizzard conditions on a 4 lane highway (couldn't see lines). I was in the far right lane, going 30 (along with every other vehicle) and my car started to slide towards the right (shoulder). I was hit on my back drivers side bumper and spun multiple times all the way across the freeway and stopped in the far left lane. The lady who hit me, was hit by another driver behind her (no insurance).
    Both of their cars were towed, mine had very minor damage. The State Trooper ticketed me for no insurance, and allowed me to drive away stating he doesn't get involved in accidents, and just gives all of us each other's information.
    The woman's insurance company started calling, and I was told to ignore them until I went to court for my ticket. I went to court the following March, and was told I had two options. Pay the woman who hit me, $565 for her co-pay to her insurance company and the no insurance ticket would be lessened to "driver's license violation" or go before the judge for my no insurance ticket, be fined up to $1,000, have it on my record, and still possibly have to pay her $565. I of course, agreed to pay her the $565. My court paper states if I complete the "probation period" of 6 months with no tickets, and pay her, the case is dismissed. Which it was.
    After months of ignoring her insurance company I called them to discuss the situation. The lady immediately kept telling me I was at fault for "driving erratically" and having no insurance. I told her i disagreed, and didn't plan on paying them a dime. She threatened to send it to a lawyer, and that was that.
    Couple months later, I started getting the same statement from a law firm, stating I had to get in touch with them within 10 days or they would proceed to sue. Everyone kept telling me to just leave it alone, and it would go away. I probably should of seeked out legal advice months ago. After receiving multiple letters, I was served papers last night.
    The insurance company is suing me for $7,100 in damages. I'm not sure what kind of lawyer I need to speak with. I realize how dumb of a mistake I made not getting insurance right away, but do not feel I am reliable for the damages to her vehicle. Can they still use the "no insurance" card against me in court, even though I was never charged with it? And what kind of lawyer do I need to seek out to represent me with this? Thanks in advance.
    You made a deal with the court to pay for the woman's deductible solely for the purpose of avoiding a "no insurance" violation in court. That didn't absolve you of your obligation to pay for the damages you caused to her car. Her insurance company is now seeking reimbursement from YOU to pay for it. The only relevance to the "no insurance " issue is that since you didn't have insurance at the time of the accident, they can come after you PERSONALLY to recover their damages instead of your non-existent insurance company.

    If, as you claim, you were not at fault for the accident, then you may be able to avoid having to pay for her damages. I believe it would be the burden of the insurance company to prove that YOU were at fault. Just not having insurance isn't necessarily an indicator of fault. Try an auto accident attorney. Check with the local Bar Association for referrals.
  3. #3
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Ignoring legal issues does not make them go away in ANY known universe. What you need to do, that will end up costing you some money, is HIRE A LAWYER. You never should have agreed to pay that woman anything, the accident was not your fault (if it happened exactly as you described it). By paying her, you look like you are assuming guilt. Now you will be out that $500, plus you'll need to pay someone to defend you or else you will end up having to pay for the REST of the damages - possibly to both cars! Time to face the music. Having insurance sure would have been cheaper!
  4. #4
    swalsh411 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    plus you'll need to pay someone to defend you or else you will end up having to pay for the REST of the damages
    Considering you have no clue as to the merits of their case I don't see how you can say this.
  5. #5
    JMpls is offline Junior Member
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    I was given only two options by one of many what I assume were all public defenders in the court room. Either way I was going to be paying out, and would rather pay the lesser with a clean record than get slapped with a no insurance fee, have it on my record, and have a suspended license.
    I was told by a former insurance agent, they were trying to "bully" me into paying them with empty threats. I realize how big of a liability I was driving without insurance, and definitely learned my lesson. And also understand the insurance company wants their money back they paid out, but don't feel I am responsible.
    Would the fact there were 450 accidents on this same day matter at all?
  6. #6
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    It appears based on your story you lost control of your vehicle and created a chain reaction collision. You, unfortunately do not have an insurance company to advocate on your behalf. You had a $565 out (partial liability). You chose not to take it, now it is time to pay the piper.
  7. #7
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMpls View Post
    I was given only two options by one of many what I assume were all public defenders in the court room. Either way I was going to be paying out, and would rather pay the lesser with a clean record than get slapped with a no insurance fee, have it on my record, and have a suspended license.
    I was told by a former insurance agent, they were trying to "bully" me into paying them with empty threats. I realize how big of a liability I was driving without insurance, and definitely learned my lesson. And also understand the insurance company wants their money back they paid out, but don't feel I am responsible.
    Would the fact there were 450 accidents on this same day matter at all?
    I'm going to make this as clear as I can. When you are talking about the "no insurance" ticket issue and paying for damages in the accident, you are talking about apples and oranges. Neither one has anything to do with the other.

    The court officers gave you a choice of paying the other woman's deductible as a way to lessen your offense of driving without insurance. Yes, that you paid that COULD reflect poorly in that it could appear as an admission of guilt or acceptance of liability in the accident. But it doesn't necessarily make you at fault for the accident at all.

    As has already been suggested, if you feel that you are not at fault for the accident, hire an attorney and have them defend against the insurance company's claims that you are responsible and that you are being asked to pay for the damages to the woman's car.
  8. #8
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Considering that the woman was hit by someone else before hitting OP, I don't see how OP could have caused the accident. But I don't see how he can competently represent himself in court, either. This isn't small claims.
  9. #9
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    Considering that the woman was hit by someone else before hitting OP, I don't see how OP could have caused the accident. But I don't see how he can competently represent himself in court, either. This isn't small claims.
    Comparative negligence. She lost control of her vehicle first.

    https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=604.01&format=pdf

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