What To Do If Someone Sues You for A Car Accident
Updated: Sep 20, 2021
It is known that being involved in a car accident is stressful because it can cost money and time for the people involved. It can be a challenging and long process, especially if someone sues you for the car accident. This article will guide you through what to do if someone chooses to sue you.
If you get involved in a car accident, you can take the steps below to protect yourself from legal action in the future.
Call 911 and report the incident
Check the people who were involved in the car crash
Take videos and photos of what happened on the scene and apparent injuries
You can exchange information like a phone number with another driver and witnesses
Never speak to others except to the police about the incident
Make sure to seek medical attention even if you don’t seem to be injured
Things to do if someone is sued for a car accident
The following are what to should do if a person is sued for a car accident.
Immediately notify the car insurance company
If a driver caused a car wreck, he or she should carry liability car insurance coverage. You can contact your insurance company provider immediately to make sure you are covered. The damage liability amount coverage can depend on the damage received by the person suing the driver.
Keep in mind that higher liability insurance amounts can offer personal assets protection to someone who is being sued. Drivers also need to be familiar with insurance policies and other liability insurance. With these insurance policies, they can have more protection if they cause an accident that leads to catastrophic damage and injuries.
Hiring a defense attorney
Usually, liability insurance compensates the victims of an accident for their damages, losses, and injuries. If someone is sued for an accident, he or she should contact his or her insurance company as soon as possible.
Someone may file a lawsuit if your insurance company doesn’t agree to settle a personal injury lawsuit for their desired amount. Insurance companies could negotiate with the victims about the accident claims. If there is a claim against you for a car accident, insurance companies can help to hire a lawyer to defend you in court.
With the lawsuit filed, the insurance company will retain counsel to defend the lawsuit. It is also important not to talk to the other party or the attorney of the victim. The person who is sued for a car accident can talk to a lawyer to understand his or her rights. The plaintiff and someone who was sued for a car accident can choose an attorney based on their preferences. There are many injury lawyers in the industry. So, it is essential to hire an attorney from a reputable law firm.
Discovery and depositions
The attorney of the defendant will be engaged in discovery with the other party. Both parties could take depositions of the opposing party and witnesses. They can motion a request to produce, interrogatories and requests for admissions. The lawyer of the defendant can use discovery tools and know about the case of the plaintiff to collect additional evidence.
Negotiations and trial
At this stage, the defendant has nothing to do with the lawsuit. A law specialist will be involved in negotiations with the other party. During this phase, it is possible for both parties to settle the case. The defendant will pay for the medical bills and loss suffered by the victim.
On the other hand, if lawyers don’t agree with the settlement, the case may proceed to trial. Each party needs to present their collected evidence to support their version of events. As a defendant in the car accident case, you should testify at the trial. It is important to have more evidence for your car accident case.
The law professionals can also allege contributory negligence. It is a legal theory that can lower the damages of the plaintiff through their fault for the car accident. It is a good defense if the victim shares partial blame for the incident. In the end, the jury will decide who caused the car accident. Additionally, the jury will also decide to award damages to the victim and how the victim is paid for the damage or injury he or she received.
Types of defenses that could be relevant if someone sues you for a car accident
There are several ways of proving fault in an accident. Well, there are also many defenses that can help if you’re being sued. These include the following:
The personal injury of the victim is not serious.
The injured person happens to have failed in getting medical attention in the needed PIP timelines
If the personal injury is pre-existing or caused by something other than the incident,
The injured person is at fault for the personal injury and accident
The statute of limitations has expired
You can seek the guidance of a well-experienced auto accident attorney to determine the strategies for your case. Choose a law firm that can provide its clients with experienced attorneys to handle the case in the best way. You’re also free to get a lawyer that will protect you from a personal injury and accident claim.
It is also important to contact your insurance company for coverage of your case. Insurance companies are responsible for help. You understand the insurance policy and settlement for your personal injury case.
If someone sues you for a car accident, give your insurance company a phone call. So, you can have an answer about your concerns about your duty and the amount to be paid to the injured person.
What happens if the car accident was only partly your fault?
Involving in an accident can be very stressful. It can cost time and money for the defendant and plaintiff. The parties are both responsible for the damages. It means that the injured person can sue you even if you are only partly at fault for the accident. If you want to be free from paying high compensation to the complainant, make sure to hire a professional Des Moines personal injury attorney to protect your assets and explain the limits for an accident case.
How can the injured party prove that you’re at fault in the accident?
The plaintiff can prove that you’re at fault in the accident through the following:
Duty of care that exists since drivers have a duty to apply reasonable caution to avoid vehicle accidents.
Breach, which is an omission or action you make while driving on the road
Causation — the plaintiff presents that your mistake caused the injuries
Damages that can be in the form of medical bills and lost wages, property damage, or pain and suffering
They may present evidence through witness statements, photographs, police reports, video surveillance footage, expert witness testimony, and medical records. With this, you will pay more money for the damages received by the plaintiff.
You can ask help from your insurance company to determine the best judgment to protect your assets and understand some limits for the case.
No-Fault Insurance Law
The No-fault insurance law states that drivers need to carry PIP or personal injury protection insurance. It means that the victims of an accident need to make a claim with their insurance company regardless of who’s at fault in the accident. The coverage of PIP insurance includes medical bills and lost wages of the injured person.
Statute of Limitations on filing a car accident lawsuit
There are also limits on the law of filing a vehicle accident case. The insurance company can hire attorneys that can analyze the stature of limitations. Then, they can raise a defense to protect the assets of the injured individual when the plaintiff failed to file the lawsuit before the expired deadline. With this, it is important to immediately notify the insurance company to protect your interest. It is not a judgement of guilt until the jury decides that you’re at fault in the accident.
Serious injury threshold
In a case where victims suffer from serious injuries, they can have options. They may file a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver. Additionally, they can also file a personal injury lawsuit for the damages.
If the victims of a car accident are seriously hurt in the accident, there can be a serious injury threshold. The plaintiff can get paid for their suffering, pain, inconvenience, mental anguish, and other damages.
If someone sues you in a car accident, you need to pay the injured party if their injuries include:
Permanent and significant disfigurement or scarring
Permanent injury with a reasonable medical probability
Permanent and significant loss of essential bodily function
Victims of an accident can sue for damages if the insurance company has already paid off the claim. Thus, they can have continuous expenses beyond the policy limits. Make sure to talk about the policy limits with your insurance company.
Who is responsible for giving the award in the personal injury lawsuit?
If the judgment of the jury in court states that you’re at fault in the accident, you’re responsible for giving the compensation to the injured party. Your insurance company can indemnify you up to your policy limits.
Settlement of car accident lawsuits
You can settle vehicle accident lawsuits with the help of a professional lawyer. The person being sued for a car accident can get a notice of what they need to pay for the damages that the plaintiff suffered.
The compensation amount can be determined through several factors, including property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation expenses, loss of future income, suffering and pain, punitive damages, and funeral and burial expenses.
Why is it important to hire a lawyer if someone sues you for a vehicle accident?
In addition to contacting your insurance company, it is also essential to hire a professional lawyer if someone sues you for a vehicle accident. The following are the importance of a lawyer in handling your accident case.
Dealing with insurance providers
One reason why a person being sued for an accident needs a lawyer is dealing with insurance providers. It can be difficult to deal with an insurance company, but your legal professional can make it easier for you. You need to search for the best lawyer that will best represent you and settle your case efficiently.
Support you to win your case if you’re not at fault
Another advantage of hiring a lawyer in your accident case is that they can provide you with support and collect evidence that you’re not at fault in the accident. With this, you can reduce the amount of compensation and protect your assets.
Knowledge of the law
Your lawyer can answer your questions regarding the law if you get involved in a vehicle accident. They can also help you understand what you need to pay and other aspects of your case.
Helps to make better decisions
Lawyers from trusted firms can help you to make better decisions as you handle your case. You can talk to them in their office about the strategies and evidence that can help to get a fair judgment from the jury.
Professional and objective
They are knowledgeable in the industry, so you can get a fair process if someone sues you for an accident. They are professional and objective, so you can settle your case in a practical and comprehensive manner.
Now that you have learned about the importance of hiring a professional in a vehicular accident case, it is also essential to know how to choose the right attorneys for your case.
Choosing the best lawyer if you’re being sued for an accident
Wide experience in the industry
They should have extensive experience in the industry. So, you have assurance that you’re working with a trusted professional that can help you win your case. How long have you been serving in the industry?
There are many firms in the market, so you should choose one that can offer you a reliable service. In this case, they can help you from start to finish. You can go to their office and discuss your case.
Offers free consultation
Most professionals in the industry can offer a free consultation. The client can go to their office and discuss how they will deal with the case.
Communication is essential for the process of your vehicle accident. The lines of communication are a key factor in choosing a professional for your case. They should know how to explain things in a clear way. With this, they can provide the best representation for their clients during the trial.
Works with integrity and loyalty to clients
They should work with loyalty and integrity in dealing with the cases of their clients. It is also necessary that they have a holistic approach to make essential strategies for the settlement of their client's case.
An organized office is also a thing to consider when hiring a professional that will represent you in the case. With a clean and organized office, you have assurance that they are professional and can give you a comprehensive service from beginning to end. It also creates a good impression on the clients.
Reasonable rate of service
Clients should look for a professional that can offer excellent service at a reasonable rate. Facing a case can be a stressful time. So, it is important to choose someone that can provide effective service without adding a financial burden to the client.
By considering these factors, the client can hire the best one for their specific case.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it worth it to hire attorneys for your case?
Yes, it is worth it since they will make the process easier to get the best settlement and judgment in court.
What should you do if you get involved in a vehicular crash?
If you get involved in a vehicular crash, you should get details from the scene. It is also important to contact your insurance company to handle your case, especially if the injured individual sued you for the crash. In addition, you should hire the best professional to represent you in your case to secure your interests.
What if you’re at fault in a vehicular crash?
If you’re at fault in a vehicular crash, you need to pay for the damage and losses caused to the person who got injuries.
To sum up, getting sued for a car accident can be a challenging situation. For this, you need to call your insurance company for a settlement with the plaintiff. More importantly, you should seek help from a lawyer to understand the law, policy limits, and how to be free from a high compensation amount.
The lawyer will also guide the defendant for effective defense of the injury case. So, they can create strong evidence in the court trial to get the best judgment in the case. With the help of this article, we hope that anyone who is being sued for a car accident will know what to do to search for the best solution for their case.