Visitor Question

Exaggerated, inflated claim after a minor car accident?

Submitted By: Bruno (Florida)

I was involved in a minor car accident and now I’m getting sued for over $35,000. I know that this is absolutely ridiculous, exaggerated and inflated. Nobody was injured and we both drove away in our own cars after the accident.

How can this person sue me for so much money? Aren’t there laws against doing suing for such an obviously frivolous claim? What can I do, who can give me some assistance in this matter? Will I have to pay a lawyer out of my own pocket? Thank you for any information you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Bruno,

The State of Florida requires drivers to carry third party personal injury liability insurance in the minimum amount of $10,000.

If you were carrying the minimum amount at the time of the crash, and your insurance company is convinced the injured driver’s claim is valid, the insurance company will likely pay the $10,000, or “tender policy limits,” and walk away, leaving you to fend for yourself.

If though, your insurance company believes the other driver’s claims are exaggerated or frivolous, you will be provided with an attorney at no cost who will defend you in a court case arising out of the accident. You can be sure the last thing your insurance company wants to do is pay a frivolous claim. If anyone can protect you from a frivolous claim, it will be your insurance company.

While just about anyone can file a lawsuit for just about any amount of money, that doesn’t necessarily mean their claim is legitimate. If you both walked away from the accident apparently unharmed, and there was no police report, it will be difficult for the other driver to prove the type of injuries he or she claims to have sustained.

At this point, leave the claim in the hands of your insurance company. As long as you have told them the truth about the accident, you’ve done all you can to protect yourself.

In the event your insurance company decides the injured driver’s claims are valid and tenders policy limits, if the other driver decides to pursue you personally for the balance, you will indeed need to retain an attorney to defend you.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: February 10, 2015

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