Q: If I am being sued for an accident I was in while under the scope of my employment, do I need to worry about anything?
I was in an accident in California almost two years ago while delivering for a company with a contract with Amazon. They didn't fire me and I stayed with them for another 5 months or so. I haven't been able to get in contact with my former employer since being served last month, but the person who served my mom the papers said all I needed to do was submit the paperwork to my insurance company. Myself, the company, and Does 1-20 are listed as defendants. If I am unable to get in contact with my former employer, what am I to do?
A: Try harder. Your employer is responsible for your negligence, if any, and is obligated to provide you a defense. The Plaintiff really isn't interested in you because you don't have the money. Your personal auto insurance won't cover your negligence because you you in the course and scope of employment at the time of the collision. If you have reached a dead end trying to get ahold of your employer, reach out to the Plaintiff's attorney to see if he has had any contact with your employer's insurance company. That might give you a contact person.
First, you get an attorney to protect your rights against the plaintiff and to assist you in getting the former employer to defend you. If you wait too long a default will be issued against you, and if you wait longer still, a judgment could be entered against you. Get an attorney to file a responsive pleading for you within 30 days of being served with the paperwork.
Next, your attorney can assist you in seeking indemnity from the company for the claim. The company will have a legal obligation to provide you with a defense, and it may even have a duty to provide you with a separate defense attorney if the claims being made by you and by it are in some conflict. The good news is that once that demand is made, any attorney fees reasonably incurred to defend your interests should be paid by the insurer, so the earlier you make the demand the better. The attorney will know how to make sure the employer is provided proper notice.
Good luck to you.
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