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Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 101731
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I was served with a civil complaint from a car accident that

Customer Question

I was served with a civil complaint from a car accident that happened back in December. No tickets were issued and all cars were insured. The complaint is for negligence and he is asking for $20k for personal injury. I talked with my insurance company and they said since there was no injury or ambulance reported in the police report that there really isn't anything they can do. It says I have to respond to the complaint. Should I get a lawyer for this and if so how much will something like this cost me?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) the site allows experts to opt out of participation in phone calls and I may or may not be able to participate in this feature.
I am very sorry to hear about this situation. First of all, can you please confirm that you had that insurance at time of accident and it covered the liability of driver (i.e. you)?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did and still do have insurance. Like I said I called my insurance company and they said since every car was covered in the accident and no personal injuries were involved that there is nothing else that they can do.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
How This Works
You see, when there is an accident, one party is generally at fault. If there is clear fault, that party gets a traffic/criminal charge. This charge - while not binding in civil court - is the "smoking gun" so to speak, and may be used in civil court to show whose fault it was if the responsible party does not pay out to the injured party for the accident.
Here, the police was not sure or were not called, so there is no ticket. Because there is no ticket, and conflicting stories, it is not clear who was at fault.
Your insurance is liable for the judgment that the other driver may get against you if the other driver sues someone in your situation, and wins. (the insurance's liability is limited amount, but usually pretty high). Ergo, to avoid paying out huge sums from a judgment where their driver may be responsible for, the insurance company likes to settle the claim to avoid litigation. Once an agreement is reached, the other driver signs a release and waive their rights to sue in exchange for the payout.
Call
Someone in your situation may wish to call the insurance company and tell them that they may consider settling with the driver, or, providing you an attorney at least for the case. Some insurance companies will do this - it is in their best interest to do so.
And yes, if they do not provide an attorney, one wants to get their own personal attorney and file an ANSWER. Typical defense fees for accident can be about $150/hour to a flat fee of $5,000 or more on average. One only has a limited time to file an answer to avoid default; let me know if you need an example of what an answer looks like.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please rate when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces/stars and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would love to see an example answer as I am on a deadline. I have to have an answer in by the end of the week. Will any attorney be able to handle this claim or do I need a specific type of attorney? Ie like personal injury, criminal, etc.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

I am attaching a sample answer HERE.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Let me know if you did not get the attachment.
Someone in your situation may wish to get an attorney who is engaged in one of the following areas of law:
civil litigation
tort law
general practice
personal injury
Gentle Reminder: Please, use the REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or rate positively and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.