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I know that you just saw the lawsuit in the paper but when was it actually filed? Have you not received any summons or copy of the complaint from the person that filed the lawsuit?
No, we have not received anything.
When was the lawsuit actually filed?
We don't know; just saw it in the paper and no date is listed.
Okay. But the accident was 3 years ago?
Yes three years ago in June
Do you know if the other driver was a minor?
No he's in his 50s
just found it he filed on 7/10/13
Okay. Thanks for all the information. Generally, when a person is injured, that person only has 2 years from the date of injury to sue the other person and attempt to prove liability. There are only some exceptions where that 2 years doesn't start right away including 1) if the injury wasn't discovered and couldn't reasonably be discovered at the time and 2) if the person was a minor at the time. In your case, the driver wasn't a minor, so that one doesn't count. Injury as a result of the accident would generally be considered discovered or reasonably discovered at the time of the accident, so in 99.9 percent of the cases, the limitations period would have started then so that any suit filed after the 2 years can't be brought against you. You would simply need to plead in your answer the affirmative defense of tolling of the statute of limitations.
The first step, of course, is to contact your insurance company at the time of the accident and let them know you've been sued as a result of the accident 3 years ago. The insurance company will generally be responsible for defending you in that lawsuit.
Please let me know if you need clarification on the above or additional information. Thanks!
Ok. Even if the accident was two years ago in June he would still be beyond the statute of limitations because the case was filed in July, right?
Yes, that is correct unless he can make an argument that the 2 years didn't start at that point because the injury was not discovered and not reasonably discoverable until a later date (the two years would start to run at the date of discovery).
Should we be worried? We are not rich and simply try to save money for retirement.
For example, he might say he started having pain 2-3 years later and went to the doctor and found out his pain was related to an injury caused by the accident. He would say -- "I didn't know until then." However, if going to the doctor at the time of the accident -- even if he was not in pain at that time -- would have revealed some type of injury that could later become agitated (even much later), then the injury was reasonably discoverable at the time of the accident and it's his fault he didn't go to the doctor right away. He couldn't argue the limitation period hadn't expired. Given that the accident occurred 3 years ago, there's probably not much reason to worry. In addition, your insurance company should take care of any liability you might have if this person is successful in keeping this lawsuit going.
OK. thanks. I checked the case in district court and the plaintiff's name shows up in several cases for worthless checks.
You're very welcome. I hope I've given you some peace of mind, although I know you'll worry some until it's all resolved. Please let me know if I can help in the future. Also, I would be very appreciative if you could please leave me a positive rating for my effort. I cannot receive any credit for my work without your positive rating. Thanks so much and have a great night!