Legal Question in Insurance Law in California

I live in California and was involved in a minor accident with a woman in January of this year. The damage to her vehicle was very very minimal. Now her insurance company says the cost was a fairly high amount, and I have to reimburse them. The amount sounds unreasonably high for the damage I actually did, and I looked online at price quotes for that sort of damage repair to that particular car. She had told me that she'd been talking to her daughter about his she'd never been involved in an at fault accident prior to our incident. With that, I'm beginning to get suspicious about whether or not I'm paying for someone elses damage to her car. Her company claims to have pictures, and they tell me how much they paid, but the only thing that I've received from them is a letter stating that I owe them, and that letter didn't specify any amount. This is months later that I'm getting a number. Anyhow, my question is this: Can I legally request that they share this information with me, pictures included? I feel like I may be getting duped, and want to get things absolutely clear. I can't go through my insurance because I let it go on account of my car being totalled in April (not at fault this time). I want to know if their threats have absolute validity, and if they don't what can I do to fight this? The other part of this is that my insurance had been cancelled at that time. I didn't know this because I had moved to a different city that month, and my mail hadn't gotten to me. So I didn't know that I wasn't covered until getting in contact with my company about the incident. Unfortunately I'd ended up paying after that, when I'd found out. This was days after the accident. So I've been covered through April, which was the month of the second accident. With that one, the car was no longer driveable, so I let the insurance go. The January accident insurance company told me that when they file the paperwork that my license could be suspended based on that period. Once I found out that I was uninsured I did not drive the car until I renewed the insurance. Is it possible to fight this as well?

Asked on 5/23/11, 9:01 pm

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1 Answer from Attorneys


You can ask the carrier for documentation, including photographs, to evaluate the claim and/or dispute it. It isn't a "right" until you are in a lawsuit and have discovery available, but most insurers will share the information both to induce you to pay, and because they know that they will have to disclose it later.

On the insurance lapse issue, if the DMV issues a suspension now based on lack of insurance then, you can have the suspension vacated by proving that you have insurance now.

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Answered on 6/08/11, 8:22 pm

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