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Old 10-01-2007, 12:32 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
341 posts, read 821,256 times
Reputation: 100
Question Car Accident Lawsuit - No Fault

Maybe someone here can answer my question.

My mother in law who is 67 was involved in a minor accident at a 4 way stop. There were no witnesses. The police officer did not give any tickets and basically said since there were no witnesses, each party could go their own way and fix their vehicles. My mother in law immediately reported it to her insurance company.

That afternoon the other driver's husband called my mother in law and told her in a very threatening manner that she needed to repair their car. He did this for about 3 days and said he was going to get a lawyer.

About 2 weeks ago, she was served with papers stating that she was being sued. Her insurance company sent her a letter stating that she was being provided with an attorney to defend her in the lawsuit.

But she is very nervous and worried and she can't sleep. I tried to tell her not to worry but she won't feel better. I went to see where this persons live and I was not surprised by what I saw. They live in a very run down trailer park and their trailer home is the worst one there. I'm thinking this persons want easy money.

After this long story, my question is how can they file a lawsuit against my mother in law? Do they have a case? The damage to the cars was minimal.

Any insight would be appreciated.
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Old 10-01-2007, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
52 posts, read 248,092 times
Reputation: 33
Short answer? Yes they can do this. Do they have a case? Ultimately that could be up to a jury. I seriously doubt it will get that far though. More than likely this will drag out for about a year, the plaintiff ( the ones suing), depending on what kind of lawyer they get, will go for a few doctor and chiroprator visits, and the lawyer will settle with your MIL's insurance company. If its only say $10k or so the insurance company will more than likely settle. It's easier and less expensive for them with small amounts. If her insurance company calls bs and won't settle, then it could end up in court. If that's the case it could drag out for 18 months to over two years to finish up. Then the plaintiff could get nothing or they could get tens of thousands. Depends on the jury.

My wife worked for two attorneys here in las Vegas. She delt with this all the time. She ultimately didn't like it. Said it made here feel dirty. People would come in with minor accidents and would basically just want thier car fixed and minor medical bills paid. Before you know it they were going to the most expensive doctors in town, bieng "guided" to keep going to the doctors even if they felt fine, all to rack up bills for a bigger settlement. In the mean time it took a close to a year for everything to happen. If it went to court, it took forever. Just getting the case before a jury could take more than a year because the courts here are so crowded. And thats on top of the months it's taken to try and reach a settlement. Once it got to court it usually only took a few days. But getting to that point takes a loooong time. It may move faster in Texas, and the laws there for personal injury may be a little different, so it could take less or more time.

Tell here not to lose sleep over it though. She won't lose here house as long as it's homesteaded. More than likely thee people won't get the big payoff of thier dreams. Other than a few depositions, and maybe a few hours in court 9if it gets that far) she really won't have to deal with it. The insurance company will do all the work. Thats what you pay them for. Yes, they may settle, but thats for their benefit and no one elses. Doesn't mean she did anything wrong. That, unfortunately, is how these things usually work out.
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Old 10-01-2007, 02:34 PM
 
422 posts, read 987,071 times
Reputation: 133
Heh, I'd **** them off and counter sue, saying they were at fault. Two could play this game! Get that guy on TV, the Tough Lawyer!
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Old 10-01-2007, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
52 posts, read 248,092 times
Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by CreekKnoll View Post
Heh, I'd **** them off and counter sue, saying they were at fault. Two could play this game! Get that guy on TV, the Tough Lawyer!
Ohhh...I like that idea. I didn't think of that one. They'd probably back down at that point. Just a couple of trash people looking to make easy money more than likely. Nice one.
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Old 10-01-2007, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Smalltown, USA
3,104 posts, read 5,927,592 times
Reputation: 1981
I was in an accident a few years back and my daughter was in an accident this year. Both were our faults I never was contacted by anyone about the other guy suing me. I did however receive letters in the mail (in both cases) that they were paid for bodily injury from my insurance company.

On the accident I was in I was totally shocked and I called Progressive and asked them why they gave them money because it was a VERY minor accident. The lady said that she deals with this everyday and they do doubt the people suing for bodily injury are hurt but they just make them an offer and they usually accept. Come to find out the guy I hit, his mom or dad (can't remember) is an insurance adjuster at USAA so I guess they know the ropes. And it was the same type of accident, no witnesses, the cop just gave us both a blue form to fill out with our statements and we had to send the forms in to the state.

This is exactly why we pay so much for insurance. Too many sue happy people out there. It just makes me sick.

Yoso~ tell your MIL not to sweat it. Her insurance company will probably make them an offer. And if it does come down to it then I would counter sue like CreekKnoll said.
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Old 10-01-2007, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Griesheim, Germany
13,805 posts, read 17,890,710 times
Reputation: 3921
I hope I never get in an accident, I seriously doubt I could control myself if someone did that to me.. they'd definitely regret it and better be walking around constantly watching their back.. it's people like this that make me waste so much money on insurance and they should all be lined up and dealt with...

rant off
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Old 10-01-2007, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Rural Central Texas
3,023 posts, read 5,316,809 times
Reputation: 4193
Heh! I was in an accident a number of years ago where a guy in the left lane (4 lane undivided road) made a right hand turn when his car was only ahead of me by half of his front door. I slammed on my brakes and he still clipped my drivers side quarterpanel with his rear passenger door and slid around the front of me to take out my headlight. I got pushed off the road and into a utility pole guywire.

Police took a report and declined to state the cause of the accident because no witnesses were around and they could not tell if my front headlight was damaged by the other car or the guywire.

It turned out we were both insured by the same Insurance agency and even by the same agent. We both ended up paying our full deductible and insurance repairing the cars. No threats of lawsuits were brought up by either party in this case. I often wonder if it might not have been a good idea to ask a jury if someone who turns right from a left hand lane with another car right next to them shouldn't pay some damages. I know I would grant them if I were on a jury asked that question!
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Old 10-01-2007, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Rural Central Texas
3,023 posts, read 5,316,809 times
Reputation: 4193
Quote:
Originally Posted by rd2007 View Post
I hope I never get in an accident, I seriously doubt I could control myself if someone did that to me.. they'd definitely regret it and better be walking around constantly watching their back.. it's people like this that make me waste so much money on insurance and they should all be lined up and dealt with...

rant off
What kind of car do you drive? I have some dumb acquaintances I want to get even with. I'll tell them all those nasty things you were saying about them.


Oh, ok....It was a nice fantasy while it lasted.
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Old 10-01-2007, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Griesheim, Germany
13,805 posts, read 17,890,710 times
Reputation: 3921
a good person would accept responsibility for their stupidity and do the right thing.. I've done plenty of dumb things and it hurts to admit it, but it's better than blaming the innocent.. I find that pretty cowardly. and if anyone hit me while trying to make a right turn around me and didn't admit to sheer stupidity.. I'd line them up on the same wall as before... that's just dumb and a great example of poor judgement.
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Old 10-01-2007, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Griesheim, Germany
13,805 posts, read 17,890,710 times
Reputation: 3921
I'm seriously considering a move to somewhere like South Dakota, just so I can get away from people on the road.. Never thought the idea of living somewhere like that would be appealing, but it sure seems like a refreshing escape.. I seriously doubt there's any excuse for an accident up there..
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