What to do ifI think someonethat Ihad a fender bender with is going to sue me?

UPDATED: Sep 8, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 8, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do ifI think someonethat Ihad a fender bender with is going to sue me?

I rear-ended a car at a low speed yesterday. The other car was an SUV and didn’t appear to have sustained damage. My sedan had damage to the front. The lady from the car exchanged information with me, seemed unhurt and generally cheerful. I suggested we settle privately and she agreed but she emailed me later that she wants to go through insurance (we both have the same insurer). I learned now that she has also reported personal injury which seems hard to believe. I fear she may sue me given her behavior so far. What can I do to protect myself? I’ve not caused an accident in 17 years of driving.

Asked on September 8, 2011 under Personal Injury, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should notify your insurance company of the accident.  If the other driver files a lawsuit, it won't be for sometime.  First, she has to complete her medical treatment, then obtain medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of any wage loss.  After that, the personal injury claim consisting of those items is filed with the insurance company.  This will take a number of months.  If the personal injury claim is settled, no lawsuit is filed.  If it is not settled, in CA there is a two year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit in a personal injury case.  This means that any lawsuit would have to be filed before the two year anniversary of the date of the accident.  If she does file a lawsuit, your insurance company will provide you with an attorney at no cost.  Don't worry about it because most likely the case will be settled with the insurance company.

The personal injury claim is separate from the property damage claim.  The property damage is usually resolved early in the case with your insurance paying for repairs to the other driver's car.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption