Author Topic: Received a summons for a person with the same name. Help?!  (Read 1409 times)

yourusernamehere

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Received a summons for a person with the same name. Help?!
« on: July 12, 2018, 06:25:25 PM »
Hoping for some recommendations that are better than what I've found with Google search. Today my husband was served with a summons to appear in civil court in Queens NY. The summons refers to a subrogation claim on behalf of Nationwide insurance, where a person with the same name as my husband was allegedly at fault for an accident and did not have insurance. It states that if he does not answer in person with 20 days there will be a judgment for $22k for the damage. This other person has the same first and last name as my husband, but also has a middle initial (hubby has no middle name.) The accident seems to have taken place very close to a family member's home on Long Island, and we have visited them there many times, but were not there at the date in question. Hubby was here at home on the other side of the state. My husband used to live in that area 12+ years ago, which is how we think the attorney must have decided he was a match. We are sure this was not him and not anyone in his family, it's just a fairly common name.
So far we have called the plaintiff attorney and left a message explaining that they have the wrong person, and called Nationwide and left the subrogation claim handler the same message.
There is no way he can answer in person- we live almost 500 miles from Queens, we're trying to list our house right now and move out of state.
I suggested that he write an answer explaining the identity mixup, have it notarized, and we send it certified mail to the courthouse. Cc to the attorney, Nationwide, and the state atty general (who was copied on the summons.) And that he continue calling the attorney until we get something in writing confirming that they're not coming after us.

What else should we do?
I saw reference online to having the attorney "unsuit," is that a real thing?
Any recommendations on writing the answer? Should he provide supporting documentation such as proof of address and drivers license ? (I'm hesitant to provide the insurance company or their attorney with any of his personal information.)
Can we really be held accountable for appearing in person if it's clearly not the right defendant? If so, are we financially liable for these expenses that are in no way our fault?

Thank you for any advice!

Juslookin

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Re: Received a summons for a person with the same name. Help?!
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2018, 07:39:08 PM »
Do not panic. First thing to do is call the attorneys office and offer to provide proof that your husband is not the right man, if you canít get the attorney on the phone (which you probably wonít) ask to speak to their paralegal. Are they saying it was a car accident? What kind of car was in the accident? Did they search for the owner of that car? They donít just search for a persons name and serve whoever they find. If they had a persons name than there is probably a police report, what was that persons drivers license number? Was the person theyíre after white, Asian, African American? How old were they?

Thereís a lot of ways to show they have the wrong person, see what proof they have and than prove them wrong. An attorney handling a subrogation claim is doing it on a contingency basis, they donít want to waste their time going to court just to learn they have the wrong person. They donít get paid for that. Good luck.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 07:43:06 PM by Juslookin »

MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: Received a summons for a person with the same name. Help?!
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2018, 08:21:07 PM »
Uhhh subrogation claims for insurance are not contingency work.... thatís work by a captive law firm for an insurance company most likely.

yourusernamehere

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Re: Received a summons for a person with the same name. Help?!
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2018, 05:02:45 AM »
Thanks! Luckily I handled insurance claims for 5+ years, including injury claims with attorneys. We both with for a major auto insurance company (though we're in IT these days.) While I never touched subrogation, at least I know more than the average bear. It's very inconvenient to deal with this right now but we should be able to provide proof- and they clearly have no proof it was him. The car is listed on the summons as being owned by a contracting company so we're guessing the driver was a subcontractor and may be dodging them since the accident was over a year ago.

He's calling the attorney again today

Juslookin

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Re: Received a summons for a person with the same name. Help?!
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2018, 08:14:43 AM »
Uhhh subrogation claims for insurance are not contingency work.... thatís work by a captive law firm for an insurance company most likely.

In my neck of the woods, and my twenty plus years in the insurance claims industry, it is contingency work. These law firms are hired to chase these folks and they collect a portion of what they are able to collect plus any expenses that they lay out. Of course in your neck of the woods perhaps it is different.

Juslookin

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Re: Received a summons for a person with the same name. Help?!
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2018, 08:16:48 AM »
Thanks! Luckily I handled insurance claims for 5+ years, including injury claims with attorneys. We both with for a major auto insurance company (though we're in IT these days.) While I never touched subrogation, at least I know more than the average bear. It's very inconvenient to deal with this right now but we should be able to provide proof- and they clearly have no proof it was him. The car is listed on the summons as being owned by a contracting company so we're guessing the driver was a subcontractor and may be dodging them since the accident was over a year ago.

He's calling the attorney again today

I think youíll be able to get it sorted out. Just keep plugging away at it, it really does them no good to chase the wrong guy.