Personally liable for work car accident?
In 2009, I was involved in a car accident while traveling to work in another state. I was going to cross a double yellow line coming out from a gas station. I only made it past the first dashed white line of of a double two lane highway and was hit by a person traveling in the passing lane, which I was going to cross to get in the lanes on the other side.
The driver hit our front left corner. I received a traffic violation for failure to yield right of way and paid the ticket (admitting guilt). Last year she filed a lawsuit to keep the case open because the statute of limitations was running out. This year I got another call that the case is still open and her lawyer wants to talk to me over the phone.
I know my company covered the accident and lawsuit, and I believe I was indemnified (I never went to court and never paid anything). I believe she is again filing to keep the case open to "ride the gravy train." Does this sound right? Can she still sue me separately? Should I have my company's legal representation present for this phone call? Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Personally liable for work car accident?":
Ray (Huntsville, AL):
Fortunately, you haven't been sued yet. Before taking any other action, contact your car insurance company and report the issue. As long as you were insured with them at the time of the crash, you should be covered for the accident.
You are right when you use the term indemnification. The insurance company is bound to indemnify you from any amounts you may be sued for (if that actually happens) up to the limits of your policy.
Once you have contacted your insurance company, they will step in on your behalf. They will either negotiate a settlement, or if they believe you were at fault (and it appears you were), they may agree to settle the claim.
In the alternative, if your insurance company believes you were not at fault, or the amount of compensation the driver is demanding is excessive, your insurance company may let you be sued. Of course, if that occurs, as part of your indemnification your insurance company will provide an attorney to represent you at no cost, up to the amount of your policy limits.
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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