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I got sued for a car accident. What do I do?

woman taking photos of car accident on her phone

Question: I was in a car accident two years ago. I just got sued. Do I need a lawyer?


The reason you are getting served with the lawsuit now is that the statute of limitations on personal injury claims is two years. That means that an injury victim must either settle their claim or file a lawsuit against the at-fault party within two years of the date of the accident, or the claim is barred. The other driver (the “plaintiff” in the lawsuit) likely presented a claim to your auto insurance carrier, and the claim has not yet settled, thus the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against you in order to protect the statute. Prior to the filing of the lawsuit against you, your auto insurance company may have made a settlement offer to the plaintiff, which the plaintiff rejected, or your insurance carrier may have outright denied the plaintiff’s claim.


You should immediately forward the lawsuit to the auto insurance carrier you had at the time of the accident. That is because you have 30 days from the date you are served with the lawsuit to file an answer with the court. You can fax or email the lawsuit to our insurance carrier. They will defend you. That’s why you’ve paid for auto insurance. Your insurance carrier will provide a lawyer for you and defend you in the lawsuit. They will pay the plaintiff if you are found liable. Unless there is potential that the plaintiff’s claim is worth more than your policy limit, you don’t need to pay to hire a separate lawyer. If you are unsure, you should call a personal injury for a free consultation to get advice.