How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dwayne B. Your Own Question
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33774
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Dwayne B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

On 8/21/12 I was driving my Dads car to take my brother to

This answer was rated:

On 8/21/12 I was driving my Dad's car to take my brother to soccer practice. I got a minor accident. I am 23. On May 21 my dad got a letter from an attorney saying if my dad didn't pay 4200 he would get sued. My parents don't make a lot of money and my dad doesn't speak good english. What can I do? I live in CA

JD 1992 :

Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today.

JD 1992 :

Did your father have insurance?

Customer: Yes, however I was one of the people excluded from the insurance.
Customer: I did not live with my parents at the time. I was just visiting.
JD 1992 :

Legal Aid is not likely to get involved in a civil case like this.

Customer: There was no damage to the outside of the car, but the air bags deployed and the insurance didn't cover it.
JD 1992 :

Possible, but not likely.

Customer: Yea I called since my dad works during the day and they wouldn't talk to my mom or myself.
JD 1992 :

What is the $4200 supposed to cover?

Customer: It does not specify. It states as follows:
Customer: "to collect the above reference indebtedness owed by you as a result of XXXXX XXXXX's negligence"
Customer: I believe it is the Automobile Club
Customer: I was not being negligent it was a minor traffic accident.
Customer: It has almost been a year since this happened
JD 1992 :

How did the wreck happened?

Customer: As I can remember, it was about 530 traffic hour. We were driving and cars stopped suddenly- it resulted me to hit my breaks and couldn't stop fast enough. There was no visible damage that I could see at the time.
JD 1992 :

You struck them from behind?

Customer: On my parents car there was no outside damage but the airbags did deploy. The police report stated it was just a routine traffic accident
Customer: yes
Customer: I struck tem.
Customer: them*
JD 1992 :

You are probably going to have to either represent yourselves or hire a lawyer.

Customer: Really?
Customer: Do we even have the ability to win this?
JD 1992 :

Yes. Legal Aid doesn't usually get involved in civil cases like this. They are likely going to sue both you and your dad. If they do it in small claims court they can't have a lawyer so it makes it pretty even.

Customer: would it cost more to hire a lawyer
JD 1992 :

It could, depending on what they sue for.

Customer: Why would I get sued?
JD 1992 :

If your dad has the money he could offer something less as a settlement.

JD 1992 :

You were driving, correct?

Customer: This is worrisome
Customer: Yes
JD 1992 :

That's why.

Customer: Okay
JD 1992 :

It is also possible to challenge them not on whether you owe something but on how much.

JD 1992 :

I can't tell you much about that since we don't know what the $4200 is based on.

Customer: Okay, I'll try to contact an attorney.
Customer: In CA, how long does someone have to file a law suit after it happens?
Customer: "it" being an event such as this
JD 1992 :

Two years for personal injury, 3 years for property damage.

Customer: Okay thank you
JD 1992 :

Probably what you should do now is write the attorney a letter and ask them what the $4200 is based on.

JD 1992 :

That would give you a much better idea on what to do.

Customer: I will do that. SHould I do it through writing or call?
JD 1992 :

Do it in writing.

Customer: I will do that.
JD 1992 :

If you don't mind me making a suggestion, when we get finished with the conversation today and you issue your Positive Rating (hopefully Excellent) the question will change formats and "lock" open so it no longer times out. Then, after you get the answer back from the lawyer you can come back to this thread and we can discuss it more with that information.

JD 1992 :

If you don't issue a rating then the questions times out and closes in a day or two.

Customer: Okay- yes it will be excellent. Thank you.
Customer: I really had no idea how to proceed with this as my parents are expecting me to take care of this.
JD 1992 :

You're welcome. Once we know what that amount covers we can have a better idea on what to do.

Customer: Thanks again.
Dwayne B. and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for the Positive Rating. If I can be of any further assistance to you in the future please feel free to come back and ask for me. You can do that by starting your question with "FOR JD 1992"and I'll pick up as soon as I see it. I am online for at least a few minutes almost every day.