Legal Question in Personal Injury in Colorado

I am located in Colorado. 15 Months ago I was involved in a fender bender, the other driver’s bumper lost some paint and my grill lost some pieces of plastic. I was ticket for being the one at fault, as I was the one turning right at a red light. I looked both ways, which I thought was clear. The other driver was coming from the other direction with no turn signal, so I turned right. She turned left into the far right lane and the back of her car and the front of my car collided at a very low speed. I asked her if she was alright, and she said yes. She was screaming at me, refused to leave her car, and told me she had no phone and she wanted police there right away. I told her there was not $1,000 in damage and that it wasn’t necessary, but I would of course call them if she felt she needed them. We had to wait three hours, and I was moving at the time and had my two pets in the car. It was a terrible night for me because of her awful attitude (I know this isn’t related to the suit, but I felt it was necessary to mention because her actions that night showed me she was going to be trouble).

Although I went to court and claimed not-guilty because the other driver wasn’t using her turn signal, so there was no way for me to know she was turning and I thought I was clear to turn right, I was found guilt for a Failure to Yield. I accepted that and moved on.

She tried to claim injury and an obscene amount of medical bills to the insurance company (we both had the same company). I was so upset that she was trying to scam the system because the accident barely caused any damage to the cars that I agreed to help the insurance agent anyway I could. I sent him our court transcripts where she said she was not injured, pictures of our lightly damaged cars, and reports from the two witnesses I had (One in my vehicle and one friend who was following us and saw the entire accident), as well as reports from the officer who came to the scene who said the accident was minor and no one was injured. The agent thanked me and a year past. Yesterday, I was embarrasingly served papers at work. She called one of the TV personal injury lawyers and is suing me for an ‘undisclosed amount’ of above $100,000. I was floored. She is claiming she had to quit her job and lost all income because of her injury. The suit claims I ran a red light and turned into the 2nd lane, both things that were not true. I was found guilty of Failure to Yield, but I did make a complete stop as well as only turning into the far right lane. I can already see holes in her suit and I am shocked this law firm took on this case.

I have no idea what happened with her claim against our insurance company. Perhaps they paid out the cap, perhaps they denied her completely because of the lack of evidence of a serious accident. I’ve contacted my insurance company and they had me fax in the papers I was served. I know a lot of sites online say to contact the insurance company, but they are closed this weekend and I want to do my own research.

This suit sounds completely frivilous to me. The amount she is asking for is blasphemous for an accident that barely moved our vehicles. I am scared because I did what I felt was right at the time and claimed not guilty and took it to court, that she was angry with me and opened this suit out of vengence.

Can anyone give me any friendly tips here? From the moment this accident has happened, this woman has caused me so much unnecesary stress. What are my rights? I know a lot of this depends on the type of coverage and how the insurance company is going to act, but what rights do I have against this woman for dragging me into what clearly is a act of complete and total insurance fraud? Thank you all for your help.

I only have a few weeks to ‘submit my response’ so I need to start doing my research while I have the weekend off. I am so grateful for all the knowledgable people I can find online and thank you in advance for your help!


Asked on 12/31/11, 1:45 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Linda Chalat Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker P.C.

Your insurance company will provide you with an attorney to defend you against the claims of the other driver. You may find some answers in reviewing your car insurance policy - the terms of your coverage and the limits for your insurance coverage will be provided in the policy.

If it is any comfort, the "TV lawyers" have a reputation in the legal community of settling their cases on the cheap, rarely going to trial because their business model is to settle quickly with little time investment. Your insurance company adjuster knows which lawyers really work diligently on behalf of their clients, and which sign up hundreds of cases just to settle with little effort, cries for justice aside.

Read more
Answered on 12/31/11, 2:08 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Personal Injury Law and Tort Law questions and answers in Colorado