Visitor Question

Getting sued for over $100,000 for a minor rear end accident?

Submitted By: Bryan (Texas)

Last year I was involved in a ‘fender bender’ accident. The guy I hit was driving a big Chevy express van, and I was driving a midsize pickup truck. He stopped at a yellow light before it turned red and I was going 5mph above the limit and rear ended him.

The impact was felt but did not hit as hard due to me braking. We did not call the cops at all, but coincidentally at the scene of the accident a cop happened to roll up behind us, so he took my ID and insurance information. While me and the other driver were talking about the accident, I asked if he was ok and he said everything was fine

He looked at the damage, which was pretty small, and said if he didn’t know I was so young he wouldn’t of even pulled over and everything would have been fine. The cop cited me for not being able to control my speed and asked us both if we had settled everything.

Me and the guy I hit exchanged info and we were good to go, the whole thing took place in less than 20 minutes. But now, a year later, I got a letter saying I’m being sued by the guy for more than $100k! (but under 200k for mental anguish and medical expenses).

The damage to his van wasn’t even $250 – at the most. Since he told me everything was fine, I had disregarded the whole event until now. I feel that this guy is a fraud. He is suing me in civil court and I don’t know what to do. What can I do? Thank you for any information you can give to help me get through this successfully.

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 Bryan,

Hopefully you were carrying property damage and personal injury liability insurance at the time of the crash. If so, you must have had at least the Texas statutory minimum amounts of 30/60/25…

– $30,000 represents the maximum amount of money your insurance company will pay for injuries you cause to one person

– $60,000 represents the maximum for injuries to two or more persons

– $25,000 represents the maximum for property damage to one or more vehicles

If the claim cannot be settled and it goes to trial, your insurance company will provide an attorney to defend you, at no cost to you.

If the driver was not seriously injured, and from the facts you present he wasn’t, then you have little to worry about. In many cases, personal injury attorneys make exorbitant demands at first in an effort to settle at the highest amount possible.

If in the unlikely event the claim cannot be settled within policy limits, and the case goes to trial, you will indeed be liable for any amounts awarded in excess of your insurance policy limits.

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: June 12, 2017

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