What to do if I was involved in an accident while driving my sister’s insured vehicle but her insurer is refusing to cover the damages to the other driver and passenger?

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What to do if I was involved in an accident while driving my sister’s insured vehicle but her insurer is refusing to cover the damages to the other driver and passenger?

Now they are suing me for $30k. There was no dents or scratches to the vehicle. What are my options considering I am unemployed and have no assets?

Asked on June 26, 2015 under Accident Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can defend yourself in court against their suit: you are not liable, or responsible to pay, unless you were at fault in causing the accident (liability in car accidents is based on fault). So unless you were driving negligently, or carelessly (and they can prove that in court), you should not be responsible to pay. Even if you were at fault and therefore liable, you only have to pay for provable property damages, costs, and personal injuries, so they'd have to prove the extent, cost, etc. of damage and injuries. And finally, as a practical matter, if you don't have an income or assets, they may be unable to collect from you--though be warned that a court judgment against you (if they get one) could potentially be enforced for years, so if they do sue and win, if you later have an income or acquire assets, they can try to make you pay then.


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