Most car accident claims are usually settled between the drivers and the insurance companies; however, some drivers prefer to pursue their rights to sue. One can sue for the damages that occurred during the accident; alternatively, they can sue for the damages not covered by the insurance compensation. One can also sue for general misconduct on the road. When your insurance company cannot cover the damages and you do not have enough capital to pay for the damages, the court may decide to send you to jail.
Being sued for a car accident can lead to various outcomes; you can agree on a settlement, or the plaintiff can drag the case to court, where the court can make a judgment. You can be jailed for road misconduct or pay very hefty fines; hence, you need to be careful and follow the proper procedures whenever someone sues you after a car accident.
Do you need a lawyer?
Whenever someone sues you for causing a car accident, the first question that comes to mind is, ‘what happens if I get sued for a car accident.’ The first move is to get the best attorney from a reputable firm. The attorney is critical for decision making, and they can guide you through the case to limit the levels of damages you have to pay and prevent the case from going to court. They can advise that you adopt other legal resolutions such as settlements that can have few consequences. You also need a lawyer to represent you in court if the plaintiff insists on filing a lawsuit.
The attorney will investigate whether you were in the wrong and find other evidence that will exonerate you from the case or reduce the liability. The attorney will also be the legal expert in your case and decide whether you should proceed to trial, especially if an insurance company sues you for damages.
Establishing whether you are at fault or not
Establishing whether you caused the accident or not is imperative to understand the potential compensation and the damages you will have to pay. That is why it is advisable that whenever you are involved in an accident, you should take pictures of the scene, have contact with those who witnessed the situation, record testimonies and get other reports such as doctor’s reports. All this evidence saves you from liability for the damages. If you are not at fault, expect your attorney to get you some settlement from the plaintiff.
If you are at fault, expect your insurance company to cover the damages. Still, you need an attorney to help you minimize the damages in case of a lawsuit. You should also expect a lawsuit from the plaintiff’s insurance company. When being sued, ensure you notify your insurance company, and in case of any complications such as their unwillingness to pay, you can involve an attorney.
Should you allow the case to proceed to court or settle?
This is the first question you must address whenever the other driver plans to sue you for damages and the accident. Going to court is not the best decision, and your lawyers will make you aware of the consequences. You can face a jail sentence for violation of traffic rules and other offenses. You should only agree to go to trial when there is enough evidence that the other driver was at fault and not you. You can also take prosecution when the accident was caused due to conditions such as sudden weather changes.
However, it is better to settle out of court than go for the trials. Trials are unpredictable and can sometimes take time before the court arrives at a decision. Most attorneys and insurance companies will prefer to settle out of court due to these reasons. Hiring witnesses, paying for investigations, and other duties such as commuting to court can be expensive; hence it is best to settle out of court.
What happens when a car insurance company sues you?
Insurance companies sue to recover the damages after settling their clients. You should begin by contacting your insurance company to inform them of the charges so that they can pay for the damages. You also need evidence to reduce the possible liabilities the insurance company requires you to pay. If the accident were due to your negligent driving, the evidence would help you reduce the liability amounts.
If your insurance company does not cover the damage or part of the damages, the liability falls on you, and you need to settle it from your pocket. You should have comprehensive coverage covering all the potential damages in an accident. Comprehensive coverage will save you the burden of any liabilities.
Possible claims after a car accident
The damages you may need to pay for whenever you cause an accident can vary based on the damages and the extent to which you were at fault. Some damages include personal injuries to the plaintiff, death, loss of wages due to a disability, etc. You will also be responsible for the car damages; however, the responsibility should always go to the car insurance company.
When dealing with a car accident lawsuit, the first step is to have the best attorney to represent you. The attorney will help you limit damages or establish whether you were at fault or not. The attorney will also advise on the best handling of the case, such as settling instead of a lawsuit. The damages can also sometimes be expensive; hence you need the help of an attorney to limit the compensation.