When in an accident that was not your fault, and the other party makes a claim against you, whatareyour options?

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When in an accident that was not your fault, and the other party makes a claim against you, whatareyour options?

I was in an accident recently, which was not my fault. The person wanted to claim from me for their damages, which I thought was absurd but their insurance agency has now contacted me to pay the damages to their car. I just want to know what are my options for this? Should I take legal action against them and claim for my damages(car repair, medical, etc) from them?

Asked on November 5, 2010 under Accident Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First thing to do is to contact your insurer, if you have liability insurance. If you do, they will defend you as well as pay if you should have to pay. (Note: under most policies, if you don't promptly notify them of claims or potential claims, you will be excluded from coverage.

As a general matter, the fact that someone claims doesn't mean the other party has to pay; someone only has to pay for damage to another's property or person if he or she is at fault, which in an automobile context usually means driving carelessly in some fashion. If you don't believe you were at fault you can refuse to pay a claim and, if sued, defend yourself in court. Furthermore, if you believe they were at fault and caused damage to you, you may sue them.


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