How can I be sued after 2 years?
I was involved in a parking lot accident on May 22, 2012. I received a summons for bodily injuries on May 8, 2014. Neither of us filed a police report, and due to the two years having passed prior to the lawsuit, no witnesses can be found, and any video surveillance has been deleted. I also deleted photos of the accident a year after it occurred, thinking all was taken care of.
It was a side impact accident. I was straightening my car when the plaintiff entered my lane, I did not see her. When I turned around to check the distance between myself and the parked cars behind me, to make my final straighten, she was driving past me and I only had a few feet before hitting her. I slammed on the accelerator instead of the brake.
She is now claiming permanent disability. She says she has neck, chest, and mid-back injuries, and is now unable to maintain her previous lifestyle. The amount she is asking is in excess of my $100,000 maximum per person insurance amount.
Are her injuries feasible? How can she sue without a police report, witnesses, or video? How much of my personal assets will be considered in the settlement if it goes to court? Is there anything I can do about this? Thank you for any perspective you can give on this.
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ANSWER for "How can I be sued after 2 years?":
Unfortunately, the statute of limitations in Connecticut for personal injuries is two (2) years. It appears, from the date you were served with the summons (lawsuit), the alleged victim's attorney filed the lawsuit sometime before the statute of limitations expired.
You claim a police report wasn't made. That suggests the police were not disptached the accident. Unfortunately, that doesn't preclude the woman from having filing her own police report. She may have, or she may not have. Without a police report, witnesses, or a video, the woman will have a difficult time proving her case.
Without hard evidence of fault, the case may come down to your word against hers.
Your question also implies you had third party property damage and personal liability insurance, but the amount of coverage isn't sufficient to cover the $100,000.00 the woman is demanding.
The State of Connecticut has what's called a "Prejudgment Remedy Rule." This means during the pendency of the lawsuit, if the woman can convince the judge probable cause exists, it's assumed she will likely prevail in the lawsuit. The judge can then permit a lien to be filed on your non-exempt assets. If the defendant (you) wins the case, the liens are automatically released.
Connecticut law exempts certain personal and real estate property, which the woman cannot claim in case of a judgment.
Section 52-352b states the exempt personal property can include:
"basic necessities such as apparel, bedding, foodstuffs, household furniture and appliances. Items necessary for a person’s occupation or profession such as tools, books, instruments, farm animals and livestock feed are also considered exempt property. Wedding and engagement rings are not subject to creditor claims as well."
In addition, your "homestead" (residence) is also exempt from civil judgments, from everyone except the bank that loaned the money for the purchase, and the IRS.
You will need to contact an attorney immediately to protect your non-exempt assets from a possible pre-judgment or post-judgment lien.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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