What to Do If Someone Sues You for a Car Accident
Updated: Feb 23, 2022
Car accidents are terrifying for anyone involved, whether they were the cause or a survivor. Being sued after an accident can exacerbate the problem, and it's easy to feel helpless. Regardless, it is best for the person to try to maintain composure.
It's important to understand what to do if a person is sued following a car crash. It's possible that they have been hurt, too. It is important that one acts quickly in order to protect their legal rights.
This article goes through some of the key points to remember if a person is being sued after a car crash. Contact the law firm to arrange a free consultation with one of our attorneys or lawyers for more information or to get the answer to any question about the law following a wreck.
Can Someone Sue You Personally After a Car Accident?
Following a car accident, the main problems are likely to be the suffering from the injury and how to pay for the damages. Except for minor injuries, medical care and car damage are costly. A person may be wondering if they can sue the at-fault driver for the losses they have suffered. Although this is a choice, it is thankfully rarely needed.
Suing others following a traffic accident is not a decision to be taken lightly. One should usually seek compensation for the expenses through the driver's insurance policy rather than the driver himself. However, a car accident lawyer might advise one to start a lawsuit under those circumstances.
If one makes a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver for damages and the insurer rejects the claim, proposes a lowball settlement, or refuses to compromise, they may have to make a complaint against the driver. Most states do not allow someone to sue the insurance provider directly.
If the at-fault driver is uninsured, they would not have access to an insurance agent to file a claim with. A person now has two choices in this situation:
Suing the Driver Personally: One has the legal right to sue the driver for their losses. The issue is that most uninsured drivers lack the financial means to defend themselves in court. One may not be able to recover much even though they win. It's best to contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible if you plan to sue. They may assess the situation and advise one on the best course of action. They may even tell you what the chances of success are if one was to proceed with the case.
Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim: After being struck by an uninsured car, the second choice is to contact one's own insurance provider. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage from an insurance company is required by law for most drivers. This is a type of optional insurance that one can add to their policy, but most drivers have it unless they expressly decline. If one is struck by a driver that does not have insurance, this should protect them up to a certain limit (or without sufficient insurance). Even if one has UM/UIM coverage from their insurance company, it may not be enough to cover their expenses, and the at-fault driver may be sued for damages. However, one should consult with a lawyer who is familiar with the laws governing traffic accidents in their area before bringing a complaint.
What Happens if Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?
Being sued can be a terrifying experience. It can eat up a lot of one's time while also putting their finances in jeopardy.
The aim of this article is to set out some clear parameters, walk through a few examples, and provide useful information for people who are being sued but don't have the financial means to pay. We talk about it in the following paragraphs.
Even if the individual being sued has no valuable assets, it is possible for them to be sued, but it is not a wise decision. Most people, on the other hand, look at the possibilities of collecting from the person they're considering suing before going through the time-consuming and costly process of filing a complaint.
The most popular case is when someone files a claim against another person for a sum greater than what they can afford to pay. If one does not have the financial means to settle a lawsuit or judgment brought against them, they are considered "judgment evidence."
This might sound fantastic, but it isn't quite as unstoppable as it seems.
A judgment that one cannot pay, according to attorneys and lawyers, simply becomes another type of debt in most legal jurisdictions in the United States. As a result, it would most likely be handed over to a collection agency and would do everything possible to recover the debt.
When one files for bankruptcy, the debt they owe as a result of the case would normally be forgiven. Fortunately, if one finds themselves in this position, this form of debt, lawsuit judgments, is not as difficult to eliminate as a student loan or tax debt (even through bankruptcy).
Another piece of good news is that if anyone has sued someone and knows that they don't have the assets or insurance to pay the full amount of the judgment, the chances of settling for a smaller amount increase. A good attorney should help one decide what steps to take, but keep in mind that if one loses their case and are unable to pay their attorney, they can quickly become another creditor on their list.
Who Pays When You Sue in a Car Accident?
If one was not at fault in a car accident, they might be considering filing a civil claim against the other driver under personal injury laws to defend their interests. Many of the lawsuits that are brought are eventually resolved out of court, and many more are settled before a case is ever filed. However, many people are unsure as to which party or parties are responsible for paying the money involved in a settled amount.
The insurance company of the at-fault driver is one of the most common providers of compensation payments. One of the reasons these provisions exist is to shield policyholders from financial ruin in the event of an accident for which they are held responsible. It should be remembered, however, that almost any car insurance company has compensation payout caps, meaning that the insurance provider can only cover settlements up to a certain amount and not beyond.
In two cases, a driver who is found to be at fault in an accident may be forced to pay compensation funds from his or her own properties. One scenario is as described above: if the payout exceeds the policy cap that the driver's insurance company provides, the other driver may be personally liable for the outstanding amount. The other scenario involves an accident in which the at-fault driver is uninsured. The at-fault driver would, without a doubt, be the first beneficiary of funds for compensation.
One's own insurance company is a third source of settled funds that may or may not be available. Many individuals have insurance that covers uninsured or underinsured motorists as part of their coverage. One pays premiums for this part of the policy to protect themselves in the event that they are involved in an accident and the other driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover the damages. This could also be an option if the other driver lacks the financial means to contribute to their compensation.
If you or someone you care for has been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you need the assistance of a car accident lawyer who is familiar with the intricacies of settlement arbitration and payment. To schedule a free initial consultation, call our law firm today where we can discuss how to deal with the insurance company, as well as any personal injury or lost wages claims that you may have.
What Happens When a Car Insurance Company Sues You?
The most severe consequences of a car accident may often appear months later in the form of a lawsuit. Even if one thinks they came out of the situation reasonably unscathed after dealing with insurance companies and medical bills, the other driver might decide to hold them responsible for the accident and decide that they should be sued for damages. Don't be alarmed if you're being sued by an insurance company after a car accident. Lawsuits can be frustrating and frightening, but they aren't always as horrible as they seem.
One knows if the accident was caused by their negligence or the negligence of the other driver. If one is not at fault, now is the time to begin collecting evidence to back up their point.
Collect whatever evidence is available, including photos, doctor's notes, and eyewitness testimony, to show you weren't at fault. Make sure one has a copy of the police report as well as the reports from the insurance claims adjuster. All of this evidence should be sent to an attorney so that he or she can better represent you.
And if one is at fault, they can also consult an attorney. If one and their counsel can show that the other driver was at least partly to blame for the crash, they may be able to mitigate or remove the liability.
It is important that one contacts their car insurance company right away to inform them of your situation, as they play a significant role in the case. One should have already informed the insurance company of the accident and provided them with a clear account of what occurred. And if one doesn't think the car insurance company would be happy to learn that they were involved in an accident, they can mention it so that they have no excuse to hesitate to protect them.
Another important reason to notify the insurance company of the accident is to take advantage of the coverage they will provide one if they are sued.
Attorney fees are usually covered by the car insurance company. The insurance company should provide one with a lawyer at no cost to them. Although one is free to employ one on their own, keep in mind that they may be responsible for the cost.
Treat this lawyer provided by the insurance company as if he or she were any other. Allow them to handle any and all legal correspondence or inquiries, and refuse to speak with the opposing party's legal counsel. Rather, refer them to your lawyer.
Any attorney or medical bills, as well as any damages one is being sued for, are normally covered by their insurance company. However, there is a catch. One's insurance company can only pay damages up to the extent of the policy. For example, if one has a $25,000 plan but the other party is awarded $30,000, they are liable for the $5,000 difference. This is where policy limits come into play. This can affect one's insurance coverage, so one should be aware of their policy limits, as well as how they can change the policy limits should they feel like they need more coverage from their insurance company. Should one wish to change their policy limits, they should contact their insurance company as soon as possible.
It's possible that one and their insurance company may find themselves on opposite sides of the fence. Insurance companies can refuse to protect their customers in some cases if they accuse them of doing anything to void your insurance coverage. It's possible to sue the insurance company for punitive damages if this occurs.
Bear in mind that one's insurance company isn't really concerned with their credibility. They are more concerned about keeping costs down, and if that means settling out of court, they would do so, even if one is not at fault. In this case, contacting an experienced insurance lawyer can be helpful.
The majority of car accident lawsuits are settled out of court because both sides profit. To prevent going to trial, one or the insurance company can make an offer to the other side. To prevent having to pay out of pocket, one should propose an amount of money that is within their policy limits. Once again, one can always increase your policy limits should they choose to contact their insurance company.
Possible Claims After a Car Accident
Thousands of people are killed or succumb to personal injury in car accidents each year. If the crash results in significant property damage and injuries or a minor fender-bender, one almost certainly needs to file a claim for damages with an insurance company — either their own or the other driver's.
Although no two collisions are the same, there are some standard steps that someone involved in one can take to ensure that their losses are fairly compensated. Insurance companies may attempt to avoid paying one out for lost wages, personal injury, or medical bills, and should this be the case, they should contact their lawyer immediately. Multiple insurance companies often attempt to get out of paying for either lost wages or personal injury due to the driver being at fault. Should one's doctor confirm that they have suffered any form of personal injury, they are entitled to any of the insurance companies involved to pay them out. One can read over your insurance policy with their lawyer to determine what they are covered for.
We can provide you with a lawyer to review your insurance policy with you. If you are at fault, it may complicate the procedure, due to you being the reason for the incident. However, most insurance policies still cover the driver at fault. The lawyer we provide you with can assist in resolving this matter. Whether you are injured or the other driver is injured, it is important that the injured party receives the medical attention that they require.
The Bottom Line
Regardless of who has liability in the lawsuit, they are entitled to a proper defense team. Should the lawsuit go to trial, one can call us to mount their defense. The lawyer we provide one with can defend them throughout the lawsuit and assist them to settle the matter. Liability can hurt one's defense; however, we can assist them to settle by negotiating with the other party involved in the accident. Trying to settle is the best option in these cases.
Should you have been involved in an auto collision, you can come to our office for some free advice. Whether you are the plaintiff or defendant, you can become a client of ours. We provide every client with an initial free consultation that could assist you in better understanding the situation. We search through all the evidence so that our clients receive the best possible service. If you are the defendant, we search for all the evidence showing that the other driver had a part to play in the accident. So make sure to call us today and become one of our many happy clients. Whether you need assistance with attorney bills or medical bills, we can sort everything out for you.