Received Demand Letter from Attorney...

by Marie
(Los Angeles, CA)

I was involved in a minor accident about 6 months ago in California. I gave my drivers license and insurance information to the lady at the time. She then told me that she didn't have a drivers license or insurance and that we can just forget the accident ever happened since there was no major damage. I of course said no problem. We didn't notify the police and both drove off.

Now I just received a demand letter from an attorney demanding money for the car accident I had involving that woman. Should I get an attorney for this or is it just a scare tactic to get me to send money? Thank you so much in advance.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Received Demand Letter from Attorney...":

Marie (Los Angeles, CA):

If you received a letter from an attorney you can be sure that letter is not meant to be a scare tactic. It is unethical for an attorney to threaten litigation if he or she doesn't actually intend to commence litigation.

When involved in an accident it is always necessary to contact your insurance company immediately after the accident. Failure to do so affords your insurance company the right not to defend the claim - and YOU! Although such things don't happen often, it is not something to be trifled with.

Your insurance company will fully defend you against the other driver's claim, up to your insurance policy limits. That is why you pay premiums. Defending the claim includes providing an attorney for you at no additional cost.

If the other driver told you she didn't suffer any injuries at the time of the collision, and if she also agreed there wasn't any major damage, then you can be confident your insurance company will take that into consideration. As a result the other driver's case, if any, should be quite weak.

If you haven't had any accidents over an extended period of time, then you don't need to worry very much about this accident adversely affecting your premiums.

Just forward the letter to the place and person designated by your insurance company. They will take it from there and notify you if they need to take your statement or photograph that area of the your car which might have been in contact with the other driver's.

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,

Judge Calisi

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