Legal Question in Personal Injury in New York

My son was involved in a fender bender and went to traffic court. the judge said it is pending a legal suit for injuries. No papers were served to us or the insurance company. My question is do we have the right to ask where he got this information from and then the District Attorney states that it was his 3rd accident at least. No this is absolutely not true he has had two accidents. As far as I'm concerned I feel that my son's rights have been violated since there was a courtroom of people. Did they have a right to say this especially if there were no papers issed.

Asked on 6/07/11, 8:14 am

2 Answers from Attorneys


The court is an open and public forum. You should and could have taken issue with the judge's or district attorney's characterization of the facts and circumstances surrounding your son's accident or pending actions in open court, or have discussed it with your son's attorney in confidence at the time the statements were made to correct the record.

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Answered on 6/07/11, 9:06 am
Michael E. Zuller Zuller Law Offices

Couple of issues here; that you were not yet served with papers does not mean a lawsuit for personal injuries has not been initiated in court. There is a period of time in which a plaintiff may serve papers on a defendant, after filing the originals in court. It may be the judge looked into the court's computer system and found a personal injury case pending against your son for which you have not yet received papers.

As for the DA possibly being mistaken about previous accidents, there is something called sovereign immunity and it generally works to bar lawsuits against assistant DA's acting within the scope of employment. In any case, prior accident involvement would not likely rise to a level of slander, as defined by the law, in these circumstances. You might try checking into the NYS court system's website to see whether the judge was correct about the lawsuit against your son. If so, be sure to alert you son's insurance company right away. Best, MEZ

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Answered on 6/07/11, 12:22 pm

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