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Being Sued for a Car Accident

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 19 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Car Accident Rta Insurance Insurance

If you've been involved in a car accident that was actually your fault, you'll know what a stressful thing it is to have to go through.

Not only do you have to deal with insurance companies asking endless questions, if you don't have fully comprehensive insurance, you might find out that you have to shell out a hefty sum to get your car repaired, and if it's written off, you might find yourself struggling to replace the car you had with one of a similar standard.

Add this to the mental, physical, emotional stress and guilt that you can suffer if involved in an RTA, and you start to get the picture.

However, for some people, things actually get worse when they find out that they are being sued as a result of the accident.

Different Circumstances

Obviously it's difficult to generalise on a subject like this because every situation is different - as is every insurance policy - but what should you do if you find a letter telling you that you are being taken to court nestling on your doormat?

Get on the Phone and Tell your Insurers

The first thing you need to do is to inform your insurance company and advise them about the claim. You should have done this anyway when you were involved in the accident, and it is their job to deal with this kind of thing for you. Any letters and correspondence that you receive from the other party (or parties) involved in the incident should be forwarded onto your insurers directly so that they can look into it further for you and help you find a resolution.

I Thought my Insurers were Dealing with This

It might be the case that your insurance company is already in discussions with the other party, but the person making the claim may have launched a direct proceeding because your insurer is causing delays.

If they don't feel that the insurance company is responding to their claim in a positive way, they may decide to come to you direct and essentially intimidate you, by threatening to take you to court. Alternatively, they may feel that your insurer is trying to skirt around the issue and that this is their only way of pushing things forward to an acceptable conclusion.

This is why you need to contact the insurance company directly. You may find that they have found a responsible and impartial witness who is going to testify via a witness statement that the person making the claim was actually the driver at fault in the incident, or that the other party have made a false accident report and the witness is needed to confirm your version of what happened.

Alternatively, they may be questioning the amount of damage and repair being claimed for - they will have independent parties looking at the circumstances surrounding the accident and descriptions of what happened and what damage was done to the vehicles.

If this seems inexplicably high, they may suspect the other driver is trying to defraud them by 'beefing up' their claim - making out that the damage was worse than it was. In some cases, insurance companies have challenged damage reports only to find out that something that happened long before the accident in question has been included in the accident report - such as damage from a previous bump - and if this happens, they will want to investigate further.

So I Don't Have to go to Court?

Probably not. It's probably just a technique to force the hand of your insurance company into acting faster or an attempt to insinuate that the other party is so convinced they have a winning case that they are not afraid to take things further. So it's likely that things will carry on at their own natural pace - which with insurance companies, is always a long, slow, drawn out affair.

However you do need to be aware that there is a chance that if your insurance company cannot come to a settlement agreement, then the person making the claim against you can issue the claim against you directly, and that would end up with you needing to go to court to testify. This is really worst case scenario territory here and very unlikely to occur, but if it did, the court would make a decision based on the evidence that is available to them at the time. If they were to find against you, you should still be protected by your insurance company.

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[Add a Comment]
B-ry - Your Question:
I was involved in an accident that was totally my fault (I was arrested for drink driving at the scene) it's been nearly a year and I've just gotten a letter from a solicitor saying a civil suit has been brought against me for 33,000. This seems very high for the little damage that was done to either car, I haven't been able to get through to my insurance company yet and am hoping for some advice.

Our Response:
We can't really give you any advice as we don't have all the details. It may seem high but it may include, someone's loss of earnings etc. The solicitor should be able to give you more details of what the claim consitutes.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 23-Oct-17 @ 10:44 AM
I was involved in an accident that was totally my fault (I was arrested for drink driving at the scene) it's been nearly a year and I've just gotten a letter from a solicitor saying a civil suit has been brought against me for 33,000. This seems very high for the little damage that was done to either car, I haven't been able to get through to my insurance company yet and am hoping for some advice.
B-ry - 19-Oct-17 @ 8:28 AM
A family member was involved in a damage only rta back in Feb of this year, details exchanged and passed to insurance company. Insurance company have declared that it is a knock for knock situation. We now receive a civil action in the post, claiming personal injury, What action should we take and are we still covered by our insurance.
ChrisB1959 - 15-Oct-17 @ 9:59 AM
Had an accident still has not been settled TP has claimed agasinst me in the county court , but they are lying on the claim form , in response to the events that actually happened when they told my Insurance which is all on email , what should I do
07473857485 - 11-Sep-17 @ 7:55 AM
Dean - Your Question:
I had a minor paint transfer with a parked car, whilst in a van I was borrowing, I informed apparent owners of car straight away and gave them my details, upon checking with my insurances they said I was not covered, I handed myself into the police and they deemed my policy states I am, and they won't be taking any action but informed me to ask the car owners if I can pay for the minor damage in cash from a garage of there choosing, where do I stand?

Our Response:
You can ask the car owners if you can pay in cash or contact your insurance company and ask them why you and the police thought you were covered but they say not.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 7-Sep-17 @ 1:54 PM
I had a minor paint transfer with a parked car, whilst in a van I was borrowing, I informed apparent owners of car straight away and gave them my details, upon checking with my insurances they said I was not covered, I handed myself into the police and they deemed my policy states I am, and they won't be taking any action but informed me to ask the car owners if I can pay for the minor damage in cash from a garage of there choosing, where do I stand?
Dean - 6-Sep-17 @ 12:35 AM
Sara - Your Question:
Some one has made a false claim against me. I wasn't made aware. I'd like to dispute their claim. How long do I legally have to do this? For example is it one yet from the claim. 3 years etc?Thank you

Our Response:
A claim has to be brought within 3 years of the accident. The papers you have received with details of the claim, should also give details of the time limits for your to respond. Seek professional advice for comprehensive assistance.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 5-Sep-17 @ 10:02 AM
Some one has made a false claim against me. I wasn't made aware. I'd like to dispute their claim. How long do I legally have to do this? For example is it one yet from the claim. 3 years etc? Thank you
Sara - 2-Sep-17 @ 7:46 AM
Fedex Ding - Your Question:
On the 24th July 2017 a FEDEX contract driver and van reversed into the rear our car which was parked in a school car park. The impact was so severe that the car was shunted into and bent the school fence and, sadly, has probably written off our car ('56 Honda accord - book value £2.5k - repair quote - £3.7k). The driver drove off without leaving any details. The police are now involved and have witness statements and may prosecute the driver. FedEx got the owner of the van to contact me but he refuses to give me his insurance details. Our insurance company are dragging their heels and have not told us if they are actually going to write the car off. We are tempted to stop the claim process and get a CCJ against the van owner for the book value of the car. In the meantime can we sell the car as scrap without prejudicing any further claims or actions? What is your advice on how to proceed?

Our Response:
Sorry we can't give individual advice of this nature, you shoud consult a motoring lawyer for this kind of thing.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 22-Aug-17 @ 2:16 PM
On the 24th July 2017 a FEDEX contract driver and van reversed into the rear our car which was parked in a school car park. The impact was so severe that the car was shunted into and bent the school fence and, sadly, has probably written off our car ('56 Honda accord - book value £2.5k - repair quote - £3.7k). The driver drove off without leaving any details. The police are now involved and have witness statements and may prosecute the driver. FedEx got the owner of the van to contact me but he refuses to give me his insurance details. Our insurance company are dragging their heels and have not told us if they are actually going to write the car off. We are tempted to stop the claim process and get a CCJ against the van owner for the book value of the car. In the meantime can we sell the car as scrap without prejudicing any further claims or actions? What is your advice on how to proceed?
Fedex Ding - 20-Aug-17 @ 9:53 PM
Masta - Your Question:
Hi I've had a slight scrape after a month of passing my test, it's only minor paint damage and a small dent on the wing of a Ford C-Max, He asked for my details and I gave him my licence and he got a pic on his phone of it and my phone number, he told me he worked in insurance and gave me his card, I said what now and he said he knows I'll get screwed so we can keep it out of the insurance and we left each other, the day his contacted me with his insurance details and asked for my email to send me quotes, then started asking for mine and said if I don't give them he'd call the police on me, I looked online it said I needed to by law so sent them over, at this point I'm a little lost and worried to say the least, so now his gave me a quote of £280 for damage and is saying he needs to hire a car on top for 3-4 days I've spoke to a friend who's told me it's a day, two tops work, I've refused this quote and said to him can't you try to get one cheaper, his moaned telling me he don't have to time he will send it to one other, me at this point in full stress mode just gave him a offer of £280 to end it now so I can walk away with no more stress, from this point I waited 4 days before contact back to which he said no I can't take that I need a car hire on top and sent me a second quote of £1,111 so at this point I need to know what my rights are should I just contact my insurance and cut all contact it's been a week tomorrow since it happened and I'm unsure where I stand and how long can he still put a claim in ???

Our Response:
You've already handed some money over so we're not sure how the situation lies with your insurer but it's definitely worth giving them a call. It might also be worth seeking some legal advice.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 26-Jul-17 @ 1:42 PM
Hi I've had a slight scrape after a month of passing my test, it's only minor paint damage and a small dent on the wing of a Ford C-Max, He asked for my details and I gave him my licence and he got a pic on his phone of it and my phone number, he told me he worked in insurance and gave me his card, I said what now and he said he knows I'll get screwed so we can keep it out of the insurance and we left each other, the day his contacted me with his insurance details and asked for my email to send me quotes, then started asking for mine and said if I don't give them he'd call the police on me, I looked online it said I needed to by law so sent them over, at this point I'm a little lost and worried to say the least, so now his gave me a quote of £280 for damage and is saying he needs to hire a car on top for 3-4 days I've spoke to a friend who's told me it's a day, two tops work, I've refused this quote and said to him can't you try to get one cheaper, his moaned telling me he don't have to time he will send it to one other, me at this point in full stress mode just gave him a offer of £280 to end it now so I can walk away with no more stress, from this point I waited 4 days before contact back to which he said no I can't take that I need a car hire on top and sent me a second quote of £1,111 so at this point I need to know what my rights are should I just contact my insurance and cut all contact it's been a week tomorrow since it happened and I'm unsure where I stand and how long can he still put a claim in ???
Masta - 20-Jul-17 @ 2:36 AM
I was involved in a crash in 2014 that was technically my fault. I had fully comp insurance and everything was paid and dealt with by the insurance company. Now one of the people involved in the crash is trying to get me to pay her £300 excess almost 4 years later.
James - 16-Jul-17 @ 7:12 AM
Scenario: Daughter has practice driving time with her uncle. Uncle is full license. Daughter has crash. Daughter is on wife's insurance as a learner driver. Uncle moved rear view mirror so that he could see backwards. Road conditions wet and he pulled on the handbrake. Whose insurance company should pay? The uncle's or the wife's?
Oldguy - 11-Jul-17 @ 8:54 PM
Ella - Your Question:
Hi in December a car said I reversed into them on a car park. I did not as my insurance inspected my car to say there was no accident with my car. she was crazy shouting at me and I had my daughter who was 9 with me and a friend we was going to shop for Christmas. I went to reverse into a bay. then she came behind trying to get in the space I was. I think she hit the barrior but now she is taking me court I don't know what to do she is claiming for more than 10k I don't have a 1p in my pocket and I didn't hit her. or I would say as I have insurance.

Our Response:
Your insurance company should be able to help you with this. Find out if the supermarket has CCTV which should help. We can't really comment more without hearing both parties' versions of events.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 27-Jun-17 @ 10:24 AM
Hi in December a car said I reversed into them on a car park... I did not as my insurance inspected my car to say there was no accident with my car.. she was crazy shouting at me and I had my daughter who was 9 with me and a friend we was going to shop for Christmas.I went to reverse into a bay .. then she came behind trying to get in the space I was... I think she hit the barrior but now she is taking me court I don't know what to do she is claiming for more than 10k I don't have a 1p in my pocket and I didn't hit her.. or I would say as I have insurance.
Ella - 24-Jun-17 @ 12:09 PM
Hi I had an accident last year .there was a van blocking my view on the left .as I pulled out of the turning to turn right a car has hit me from the left. Massive dent in her car hardly any damage to my car. An ambulance was called as she had a panic attack as of when it happened shed doesn't know. she made a clam against me. as far as I am aware my insurance company has sorted the matter, but now I have received a letter from their solicitors say they have started court proceedings. Is this a matter for my insurance company to sort out or is it my responsibility as the letters are coming to me. Could you please advice me on what to do next.
sean - 11-Apr-17 @ 7:53 PM
Kt - Your Question:
Hi, I was involved in an accident last November, a small crash and I was at fault. We gave insurance details and I called my insurance company straight away to get things sorted out. The company assured me that the damage would be dealt with as I have fully comp cover. It is now march and the third party is taking me to court for unpaid money. Considerable amount of money I may add. I am a young driver and I don't know what to do. The court date is in 5 days. Please help.

Our Response:
Contact your insurance company now and ask them what's happened.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 14-Mar-17 @ 11:26 AM
Hi, I was involved in an accident last November, a small crash and I was at fault. We gave insurance details and I called my insurance company straight away to get things sorted out. The company assured me that the damage would be dealt with as I have fully comp cover. It is now march and the third party is taking me to court for unpaid money. Considerable amount of money I may add. I am a young driver and I don't know what to do. The court date is in 5 days. Please help.
Kt - 11-Mar-17 @ 6:17 PM
Hi we were involved in an accident last year my husband admitted it was his fault had to tell the insurance company that we were in the car as well and I've had my payout from our insurance now my husband is having to go to court in front of our 8 year old daughter for a payout their both going to be one hell of a mess and I'm expecting our second child and just lost my job so really don't need all this stress now there is no way we can afford the court costs my husband has to pay to our daughter as we are begins with bills and he is the only one earning nowI don't understand why we all have to go to court I'm really worried he will go to prison for this and I really can't deal with all this on my own as it will mean if he doesn't work we will loose our house and be homeless with a baby in the way I know it's prob my hormones but it's all I can think of
Sammylou - 8-Mar-17 @ 10:31 PM
My 17 year old daughter was a passenger in a rental car the driver was speeding and lost control and crashed into a lamppost. My daughter has inflammation in her chest from the impact and whiplash in her neck and back. How do I claim for her as I'm not sure how it works with a rental car driver.
Mummybear - 24-Jan-17 @ 10:12 AM
2 years ago i hit a car in the rear, all details were passed and i hadnt heard anything until 3 months ago, im being taken to court and my hearing is today! Irecieved legal letters from the claimants solicitor and my insurance paid them but only the minimum as the medical notes showed they had nothing wrong! Theyre trying to claim 550 from.me.for there childs guitar? My question is can they claim even after theyve had a payout from.my insurance, my premiums boosted to well iver 1300 a year from 300 and i had to pay 200 and attend a drivers alertness course?
Locky1223 - 23-Dec-16 @ 7:48 AM
I drove a car uninsured hit another car, it's been to court I was banded and the car I was in was my mates,his insurance paid other car, sueing me again for injuries can they do this?
Tim - 14-Dec-16 @ 11:08 PM
I am currently being harassed by a 3rd party claimant whom I was involved in a accident with at the beginning of the year. Basically, I hit their stationary car and accepted full responsibility and passed on my insurance details. I told my insurance company and it all seemed fine. Did not hear any more from those involved until June(6 months later). They contacted me saying they could not get through to my insurance company and felt it was unfair considering I hit them, I accepted this and contacted my insurance company of their behalf, multiple times...but it began to become a bit harassing.They would send me threatening texts saying they would takeme to court and I got a bit upset. When I spoke to my insurance company they told me they had tried to contact them and could not get through. Even emailed them and ccd me in so I knew they'd been sent. The latest was asking me to meet up them to contact my insurers. I genuinely cannot take any more. I have even contacted the police and made a harassment claim and blocked their numbers. They have recently been getting solicitors to ring me on their behalf...what do I do? I don't want to meet them so they can emotionally blackmail me! I managed to contact my insurers every time so why can't they??
Ssw - 8-Dec-16 @ 10:53 PM
Jeff1304 - Your Question:
Hi,I have been involved in a car accident. I was in fault with a foreign car and foreign policy. I have not claimed anything but I received a first claim from the other company/driver s sollicitor which has been paid from my knowledge. Last week I received another letter from the MIB saying the other driver claimed personal injury and I ve been recorded as uninsured driver. I have lost so much in this accident, my car, my job, thousand of pounds and more. My only question is because I was insured can the claim can be made against me personnally?

Our Response:
If you were insured why won't your insurance company deal with it?
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 22-Nov-16 @ 11:03 AM
Hi, I have been involved in a car accident. I was in fault with a foreign car and foreign policy. I have not claimed anything but I received a first claim from the other company/driver s sollicitor which has been paid from my knowledge. Last week I received another letter from the MIB saying the other driver claimed personal injury and I ve been recorded as uninsured driver. I have lost so much in this accident, my car, my job, thousand of pounds and more.. My only question is because i was insured can the claim can be made against me personnally?
Jeff1304 - 21-Nov-16 @ 2:40 PM
Hi I was involved in a car accident at the weekend. I stopped at a junction, they guy behind me went into the back of me. I calledthe police who said they did not need to attend as no one was injured. He has now told his insurance that I rolled backwards into him and he is not liable. I have an automatic and this is not even possible. As he has disputed this incident there now has to be an investigation. I have all the picture of his car and my car after the incident What is the best way to manage this. Can I take some kind of legal action against him? Many thanks
Sam - 7-Nov-16 @ 7:36 PM
I was involved in an RTI this month September the other driver was drunk, my car has been written off and both myself and my motherhave wip lash, what can i do if anything about suing the other driver?????
Pinky - 27-Sep-16 @ 8:12 PM
Hi my husband was driving a company van when he hit a cyclist (the cyclist was all in black, had no lights and smelled of alcohol) my husband lost his job as he was so tramatised by the accident. It went to court and my husband admitted his part in tge accident (albeit at the time the cyclist said it was all his fault and apologized)my husband was fined and got penalty points. We have now had a letter saying he is being sued for £10.000 for injuries tgat we never stated in court. Please help
Funsize - 21-Sep-16 @ 5:40 PM
funandgames - Your Question:
Hi,I was involved in an accident in December 2015 which liability is disputed by both sides. A police investigation was initiated and concluded that no further action required. The police report has been available since April 2016 and both my insurers and the 3rd party agreed to split the cost between them. My insurance company have paid the 3rd party and the cheque has been cashed. I've received an offer of 50/50 which I declined as I believe the police report will find in my favour (based on conversations I had with them during the investigation). It's now September and I've yet to receive a copy of the report. The police have confirmed that no payment has been made for the report. I checked this in July and informed both my solicitors and insurance company of the information so they followed up with it. I checked again this week and it's still not been paid for by the 3rd party. In the mean time the 3rd party have been contacting my solicitors about the offer they proposed and whether I'll accept it or not. This has been rejected multiple times by my solicitors. What do I need to do in this case? I believe that the 3rd party are now deliberately delaying any form of progress in hopes of getting off easy and I'm getting very very frustrated. They've not provided any detailed version of events from their client despite being asked repeatedly and having had a copy of mine since April 2016. Do I need to force my solicitors into action as 9 months since my accident and we haven't made any progress at all. I'm still going through the assessments for injuries as I required specialists in order to accurately detail the injuries. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Our Response:
We suggest, if you have engaged a firm of solicitors, that it's up to them to make more effort to get this resolved
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 8-Sep-16 @ 10:40 AM
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