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Settling outside of court | Avoiding small claims court

by Diana

I was recently involved in a car accident in a neighborhood. When we collided, the other party had a witness who was driving behind him.

I did not have a witness at the moment when the police arrived and I was given the citation. However, I went back to the neighborhood hoping to find anyone that had witnessed the accident and found someone that witnessed the end of it and agreed to write a statement for me.

The other party tried claiming my insurance, but after interviewing both witnesses on both sides, my insurance denied the claim due to conflicting details. I was also denied claim by the other party's insurance as well.

I took defensive driving for my ticket to have it dismissed. I plead no contest because I began to think that maybe it was both of our fault that cause the accident. However, recently I received a notice of a small claims suit from the other party and I know that under my insurance policy I need to fax the papers to my insurance for proper procedures.

I was told that they will accompany an attorney to my case. However, I have reviewed and made a conclusion that the accident could be mostly my fault and I was wondering if there is anyway I can tell me insurance that I can claim fault and have it settle out of court.

Will I have to pay the amount filed in the suit or does my insurance since they represent me?

The accident occurred when I was driving down on the right side of my lane and I perceived the other party to be driving in between lanes. I tried to avoid him and then we both collided.

Now I think it may have been my fault because I have swerved too early trying to avoid colliding into him since the neighborhood has cars parked on the side the other party might have gotten back to his own lane on time.


Hello Diana,

Gosh, I am sorry about this.

Well, your insurance company represents you and has a duty to help you with the investigation. They must also provide a defense for you. HOWEVER, small claims court does NOT allow attorneys or insurance adjusters in the court room.

This case will be you against the other party. You both will have to tell the judge what happens. The decision of the judge (judgment) will be binding. Your insurance company would have to pay if you lose.

If you will be claiming fault, then you may want to avoid the entire procedure and express that to them. They might pay just for that.

If they want you to go argue, then you will have to put a compelling case and it does not sound like you are so sure about fault. For more information about fault in small claim court, please see:

Good Luck,

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