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N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 9082
Experience:  Since 1983
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Four years ago I was in a car accident that was my fault and

Customer Question

Four years ago I was in a car accident that was my fault and I did not have insurance. Today I received a letter from an attorney of the the Insurance
Company of the person that I was in the accident with. The letter stated that I was being sued in CA Superior Court for $20,000.00. What can I do to fight this or can I even fight this at all? Thank you for your time.Best,Mara Hall
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 5 months ago.

I am sorry to hear this.

Did the accident happen in California?

I need to know the date of the accident and the date the lawsuit was filed. Also, was there any prior lawsuit filed relating to this accident?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your quick response!Yes the accident happened in Los Angeles 6-18-2012.The paperwork that I received has a date of 6-10-2016. This is the 1st paperwork or filing that I have received from this Attorney.
It also gives a case number *****In 2012, I received letters from another attorney retained by the party that I hit in the accident. I received three letters from them but nothing materialized from that.
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 5 months ago.

Were you served with a Summons and Complaint this month?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I wasn't served anything. I found this letter, I guess this complain in my mailbox yesterday.
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 5 months ago.

You have the case number.

The next step would usually be to go to the courthouse and look at the file, and get a copy of the summons, complaint, and proof of service of the summons. It sounds like the case is barred by the statute of limitations but you need to see if they ever filed a proof of service of the summons. A summons has to be served within two years but the case was supposed to be filed within two years of the accident.

You can also search on line through

https://www.lacourt.org/paonlineservices/civilimages/publicmain.aspx?

Please let me know what you find out when you see the Court file and I can tell you what your options are.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I found out more information on the case. The case was filed in 2014, but I never received anything stating that.This is what the file online stated.
CASE SUMMARY
Case Number: 14K03166
COMPANION PROPERTY & CASUALTY VS HALL, MARA NICOLE
Court: Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Filing Date: 03/06/2014
Case Type: BREACH OF CONTRACT/WARRANTY - CONTRACT (Limited Jurisdiction)
Status: PendingFuture Hearings03/06/2017 at 0830 AM in department 77 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE09/08/2016 at 0830 AM in department 77 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 5 months ago.

You need to look at the court file to see if there is a proof of service of the complaint on file. Please let me know.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
This is the only thing that I found regarding proof of service:12/18/2014 PROOF OF SERVICE OF PUBLICATION FILEDI was never served anything in person.Here is the history given for the case:Histories (Dates listed in descending order)
05/27/2016 REJECTED: APPLICATION PUBLICATION/DECLARTION/STATEMENT(MARA)
05/19/2016 RECEIVED APPLICATION FOR PUBLICATION
03/09/2016 OSC CONTINUED TO 09/08/16 AT 08:30 AM IN DEPT 77, ROOM 736
09/08/2015 PRE-TRIAL MINUTES-CONTD TO 03/09/16 AT 08:30 A M IN DEPT. 77
02/20/2015 SUBMISSION FOR DEFAULT ONLY PENDING
02/20/2015 REQUEST FOR DEFAULT FILED AND ENTERED
12/18/2014 PROOF OF SERVICE OF PUBLICATION FILED
11/12/2014 APPLICATION FOR PUBLICATION/ORDER FILED/SIGNED
11/03/2014 RECEIVED APPLICATION FOR PUBLICATION
03/12/2014 NON-JURY TRIAL SET FOR 09/08/15, 08:30 AM, DEPT 77
03/10/2014 OSC SET 03/06/17, 08:30 AM, DEPT. 77 PURSUANT TO GENERAL ORDER
03/06/2014 COMPLAINT FILED
03/06/2014 SUMMONS FILED
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 5 months ago.

When the accident happened, was a police report filed that had your name and address on it?

Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 5 months ago.

Do you recall the date of the accident?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
there was a police report filed with my name and address. The date of the accident was 6-18-2012.
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 5 months ago.

It looks like they lied to the court and said they did not have your address and apparently got an order for service by publication. You need an attorney to get a copy of the entire court file and decide what your options are. I can't recommend a specific course of action other than that.

If you do not do anything, they will probably get a default judgment for the full amount stated in the image you initially posted. That is true even if you have a valid defense, which you might. Their claim might be barred by the statute of limitations but it runs from the date they made the payment to their insured, which we do not know and cannot find out without filing an appearance in the case and sending some interrogatories. There might also be a defense based on lack of diligence in pursuing the case.

You can get a free consultation from some of the local attorneys listed here.

Please follow up on this with a local attorney.

I hope this information is helpful.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Do you think I can have an attorney file a motion to quash?
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 5 months ago.

Yes that is one possibility but I would have to see the court file to know what other options you have.

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