Can Someone Sue You For a Car Accident If You Have Insurance
Updated: Feb 23
There are two ways to collect damages from the fault driver in states like Iowa. Aside from filing an insurance claim, someone may sue you for a car accident if you have insurance.
But why would the driver file a lawsuit against you if an insurance claim could be a better idea? When is the right time a person can sue you for car accidents? What to do when you are sued? You will know them all in this guide.
Common Reasons Drivers Usually Get Sued After a Car Accident
Filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver is not extremely necessary as it is time-consuming and costly. Getting a settlement, in particular, does not happen overnight. It takes months for the insurers to review the claim. But why do people come to the point of suing the at-fault drivers? Here are some possible reasons:
Unexplainably High Bills
A car accident can be traumatizing. Seeing a family member, friend, or colleague bathing in the blood is a terrible experience and can give a person nightmares literally.
If a car accident is a crash or collision, there is a high risk of getting injured. If a serious bodily injury is sustained, of course, the person needs quick medical attention. Car and motorcycle collisions are quite common.
Here is the thing. Getting hospitalized today can be costly. After a few weeks in the hospital, patients still require months to recover.
For that period, they cannot work, which means they might use their savings to buy their medications and pay off the other bills.
So, the expenses are unexplainably high. Also, do not be shocked when the third party files a lawsuit against you instead of a claim.
If that happens, take advantage of a free consultation from Des Moines personal injury lawyers you know. Give them a chat for more details.
Low Insurance Settlement
Suppose you are the victim of a road accident. Then, you file a personal injury claim to the driver’s insurance company and submit every necessary documents.
After some time, you receive an email about the insurance settlement. It is not enough to cover all your medical expenses and other damages.
What would you do? Of course, the at-fault driver cannot blame you for filing a lawsuit.
Being Blamed for the Accident
Imagine every involved party says that the car accident is your fault even if you are innocent. One thing you could do is to dispute the accident fault to free your record.
The Process of Insurance Claims is Too Long
Even if the process of filing insurance claims varies by state, we cannot deny the fact that it is longer than you have imagined.
Although you have submitted every important file to the insurance company, things may not go according to your expectations.
There will be delays along with your claim. If you do not have enough money at hand, your debts will start to pile up as you have medical bills to pay, a damaged automobile to repair, extensive treatments to take for you to recover as soon as possible, and duty to your family.
That’s why deciding to sue the at-fault driver is a brilliant idea and may pressure the insurer to process your claim quickly.
Things To Do When a Driver Sues You After a Car Accident
It’s bad news when you receive a lawsuit in your email. You might be terrified. It’s normal. You are only human, after all.
If it is your first time, you would probably feel overwhelmed and not know what to do. Here’s an overview of how you can deal with a lawsuit in Iowa and even across the US:
Give Your Insurance Company a Call Right Away
Any case should be taken seriously. So, if you are being sued, contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
But before that, get all documentation ready.
Leave the Job to a Car Accident Lawyer
The laws on road accidents vary by state. State and federal laws are also changing and have become more complicated in the past years.
As an average citizen of Iowa, you are not knowledgeable and experienced in handling the law. This is what auto accident lawyers are trained for.
A personal injury attorney can best represent you in court proceedings, protect your rights, and clear your name.
More than the vast expertise of the law, a good personal injury lawyer is compassionate and can make your life less stressful than expected.
Admit it or not, a lawsuit is depressing to handle, and an empathetic attorney can come to your rescue. No one understands you more than a lawyer, indeed.
But even if you are stressed about the situation, maintain that attorney-client relationship.
Do Not Make Statements to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company and Defense Attorneys
Insurance companies will try their best to shift the blame to someone else. If the other driver’s insurance company or defense attorney requests an interview, do not make any statements. Your top goal here is to remain silent. Only cooperate and negotiate with your attorney.
Is a Car Accident Lawyer Provided in a Claim
It is expensive to hire an attorney specializing in personal injury law or car accidents.
That’s why some insurance companies include a car accident lawyer in their services.
But even if you have automobile insurance, do not relax as your insurance provider may not shoulder the cost of hiring a legal specialist.
Here are some exceptions when your chosen insurance company may not provide legal counsel:
Damages Exceed the Insurance Policy or Claim
There is minimum liability coverage in Iowa. According to state law, the bodily injury insurance coverage for every individual should be around $20,000.
The bodily injury coverage for the whole car accident should be $40,000.
The property damage, on the other hand, is $15,000. These insurance policies, however, are only the minima.
They could be higher depending on the insurance company of your choice. What if the damages go beyond your insurance coverage? What would happen? Well, your provider will not include legal counsel in their packages.
Failing to Report the Accident
Another reason insurance companies will not provide legal counsel in a claim is when you cannot report the car accident within the time limit the former follows and implements.
It would be frustrating and expensive on your part. That’s why you have to spend time reading every rule in the insurance policy.
Usually, as a policyholder, you have at least 5 days to report the accident. Sometimes, it could last up to 10 days.
What if you are severely injured, and you miss to notify your insurance company? If you have a valid reason, your insurer may give you a chance.
It’s Your Intention to Cause the Vehicle Accident
For the insurance company to determine the at-fault driver, they thoroughly investigate and review the car accident, obtain a copy of the police report, get statements from eyewitnesses, or request video footage from surveillance cameras.
If the police report and other pieces of evidence reveal that you have the intention to cause the car accident and pain and suffering to other drivers, your car insurance company can void its obligation to defend you in court and deny your claim.
What Are the Damages or Compensation Vehicle Accident Victims May Collect?
Even if it is not your intention to cause the accident and you are the at-fault driver, you do not have a choice but to pay whatever damages the victims may ask in their claim.
But they could not request any compensation that is no longer legal. So, what are the damages vehicle accident victims are entitled to collect? Read on for more information!
As the fault-driver, you need to pay the property damage you cause. It usually includes the damages to the vehicle of another driver. It is not the car alone, though. Other devices, including laptops and cellphones, are included. You can also ask for compensation for your broken jewelry and torn pieces of clothing.
Aside from the physical injury and property damage, the accident can affect the victim’s mental health. This is more damaging compared to the personal injury they have sustained.
While some could recover from this anxiety fast, others are different. They require more time to beat their depression.
Whatever the costs they need to pay to overcome their anxiety, they are also a part of your liability.
Pain and Suffering
A person won’t fully recover from injuries caused by a vehicle accident even after getting hospitalized. Victims will still experience pain and suffering that may last for a few months, affecting the quality of their lives.
But it is hard to compute the exact compensation for victims’ suffering. Working with a trusted and competent law firm will be a great help. So, call an experienced lawyer today for free case consultation and some pieces of legal advice.
If drivers sue you for a car accident and you fail to win as the collision is really your fault, there are medical bills to pay, and your insurance can cover them.
But if the medical bills are beyond your insurance and you are an uninsured motorist, prepare enough money to settle your liability.
If you struggle to make ends meet, do not wait to cause a car accident. Also, do not stay uninsured. Find an insurer as early as now for a free case consultation and avoid any liability in Iowa.
You can call your friends on your contact lists on the insurer they know to save your time.
Depending on the injury, automobile accident victims need time to recover, so they cannot work even if they are discharged from the hospital.
As a result, you will miss days and months of work because of your injury. As a parent, you still have a duty to your family.
If you have children who are studying, how will you support them? Don’t worry, as you will be repaid for your lost wages.
The compensation will not be automatic, though. But don’t worry, as this is generally included in a driver’s insurance coverage. It is just necessary to file a claim.
How to Avoid a Vehicle Accident Lawsuit?
Who wants to make the victim decide to sue the at-fault driver? No one would wish to come to that point. But why do the victims sue the other driver? How to avoid legal liability or the need to hire a lawyer to represent you in court?
Good questions, and in this section, you will know how to prevent the risks of spending more on every legal advice you get from an attorney.
Be a Responsible Driver
Nobody expects to be in a car accident. But it may happen especially when the driver is negligent.
Now, how to be a responsible driver? The number one thing you should do is to keep your vehicle well-maintained. Have it inspected and checked regularly and drive your attention to the fluid levels, tires, wipers, brakes, and lights.
Aside from regular vehicle maintenance, avoid driving when you are drunk. Experts say drunk driving remains a problem in Iowa and other parts of the US.
According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, approximately 1,290 alcohol-related crashes in Des Moines from 2004 to 2008 alone.
So, if you attend an event and get drunk, it is advisable to take a taxi or ask someone to drive you home instead to avoid property damage.
In addition, make sure to avoid distractions, wear your seat belt, keep your distance, and watch your speed.
Negotiate and Settle
If someone is seriously injured because of a collision, you cause even if it is not your intention, negotiate and make a settlement.
Contact your insurance company even if the accident happens to make every claim smooth. There is nothing wrong with that. The big problem may occur when you fail to call and inform your insurance coverage provider, as the victim might sue you at the end of the day.
Get a Good Coverage Policy
Today, it is easy to look for an insurer. But not all can cover everything caused by the accident that’s your fault.
Yes, they may cover property damage and injury-related medical bills. But they may not be enough, and there are limits.
One of the reasons drivers sues every involved party is a low coverage policy. So, when looking for an insurer, be sure they provide fair and reliable coverage for your convenience.
Do Not Stay an Uninsured Motorist
Since a driver cannot file insurance claims because you are an uninsured motorist, they may sue you instead.
You do not want that to happen, as dealing with a lawsuit is costlier than insurance claims. If you are insured, your insurer will cover the property damage, lost wages, medical bills from injuries, etc.
They may also provide an attorney with relevant practice areas that you are looking for.
But if you are an uninsured motorist, expect some financial challenges along the way.
Add uninsured motorist coverage to your list for those who already have car accident insurance to avoid any limits.
How to Win Your Car Accident Case and Optimize Your Compensation
You have been in a car accident. Then, their insurance claim is delayed. It is no surprise that the other drivers sue you.
But even if you receive a notice of the other drivers’ lawsuit, that does not mean the accident is your fault.
No one is guilty of a crime until proven guilty, remember. So, do not lose hope. Here are some tips on how you can win a car accident case or increase your compensation:
Contact an Ambulance Right Away
The first thing you can do is contact an ambulance immediately, whether or not you are injured. Even if you do not have physical injuries, you may suffer from internal bleeding that requires quick medical attention. Also, seeking medical treatment allows you to know and identify the compensation you deserve.
Document Every Detail Related to the Accident
How would you convince the jury that the accident is not your fault? During any vehicular accident, document everything, even if you have injuries.
Do not miss the skid marks, debris, and other damages so that your attorney could better represent you in front of the jury in Iowa.
Also, keep records of lost wages, medication costs, hospital bills, car repairs, and other important things.
You can either contact or live to chat with your legal counsel for other things you should document.
Communicate to Your Family, Close Friends, and Lawyers Only
Everything may happen at the scene of the collision. There is a high chance that some people or defense attorneys may efficiently interview you to represent their clients in front of the jury.
If someone requests an interview, do not give a statement. Just stay silent and only communicate to your counsel to maintain and establish a good and long-lasting attorney-client relationship.
Remember that everything you say to defense attorneys may be used against you when the jury reviews your case.
Be a Critical Thinker
The jury conducts a thorough review of any accident case in Iowa. So, do not be surprised when they ask different and difficult questions.
But your attorney will help you survive the process, prove that the collision is not your fault, make you free again, and receive compensation for the property damage.
As clients, you also have to listen to what your lawyer tells you to do during the free consultation.