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What Should I Do if I'm Being Sued for a Personal Injury Car Accident?

What Should I Do if I'm Being Sued for a Personal Injury Car Accident?

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What Should I Do if I'm Being Sued for a Personal Injury Car Accident?

Going through an accident is a harrowing experience in and of itself, but what happens if you learn later that you are being accused of causing the accident and will need to defend yourself in court? It is very important to research all of your avenues for the next steps when being sued for a personal injury car accident.

If you or someone you know is being sued for a personal injury car accident, one of the first things you will want to do is retain the services of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. An attorney can make a big impact on the outcome of your case and, more importantly, explain to you what to anticipate in these early stages of your current case. With so many different things to think about, you need to have appropriate legal counsel to guide you through this process and to help prepare you for what to anticipate. A lawyer can play a crucial role in responding to any ongoing communication and can also make sure that you do not miss any important deadlines, such as filing paperwork or other materials with the court. Many people find themselves to be in over their heads with these types of cases if they do not get legal counsel, but it is very important to take these next steps to protect your interests when being sued for a personal injury car accident.

Timeline For Reacting

Every state has very specific rules associated with the statute of limitations. This refers to the period of time after an accident in which a victim can file a lawsuit against the responsible party. This is usually a couple of years, but you might discover that a lawsuit has been filed in the days immediately following the car accident or weeks or months later. If you have been involved in a vehicle accident, you probably already contacted your insurance company and got medical attention. It is strongly recommended that you get medical attention and contact your car insurance company after every accident you're involved in, even if you are not yet sure whether you have suffered severe damage or injuries. Evidence collected during this time can also become important in the event that you are being sued for a personal injury car accident in the future. You will want to have these pieces of evidence for your own purposes to turn to if you have to file a claim with your car insurance carrier, but it can also be helpful in defending yourself especially as it relates to how the accident happens.

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FAQ

Morgan & Morgan

  • Why Would a Liability Insurance Company Sue Me?

    Your insurance company might hire a defense attorney after you've opened a vehicle insurance claim against them. Liability insurance is required and has specific levels for every single state, but it exists to help compensate the victims for their damages, losses, and injuries. Your insurance provider actively negotiates settlements with an accident victim. The victim might have filed a personal injury lawsuit because your personal insurance company would not agree to settle the claim for their preferred amount. Your insurance company will, at this point, retain legal counsel to defend the lawsuit once the lawsuit has been filed. 

    A lawyer can reach out to you from the insurance company to discuss the accident and will ask you for information, such as evidence regarding the lawsuit. You should not talk to any other parties involved with the accident victim including the attorney on the other side. 

    Although the insurance company attorney will reach out to you during this period, it is important to understand that they are not your individual lawyer. You have the right to hire a lawyer of your own choice at your own expense, and there could be situations in which this makes sense for you to do. It's a good idea to speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer about your case to be clear about your legal rights and about what is required to protect your best interests. An attorney handling your case will be involved in discovery with the other party. This means that they might review the evidence and take depositions of witnesses. 

    This attorney can file requests to produce interrogatories and requests for admissions. The primary purpose of these early stages of the case is to learn more about the other side's approach and to gather additional evidence. During the negotiation and trial phase, there will be nothing for you to do unless your lawyer or the insurance company's lawyer informs you otherwise. During this process, when discovery ends, that attorney will be involved in negotiations with the other party. In some cases, this is a successful point for settlement at which the lawsuit is closed out. 

    However, if your lawyer is unable to settle the lawsuit with the accident victim, the case will go to trial and each party on the side of the case should be prepared to present their version of events and evidence. It is very possible that if you are being accused of causing the accident in an at-fault state, you may be required to testify at trial. This is yet another situation when it makes sense to have legal counsel representing your interests and your interests alone, so that you have peace of mind about what to expect and can be fully prepared for each step in the process. Multiple defenses may be used by your lawyer at trial depending on the specifics of your case.

  • Understanding Personal Injury Lawsuit Awards

    As the case proceeds through trial, if you are unable to achieve a settlement, and if a jury determines that you caused an accident in an at-fault state and awards the victim compensation for damages, you can be held personally responsible for that amount. Your vehicle insurance company will indemnify you for up to your policy limits, meaning that they will pay that award up to the limits of the insurance policy. If you have insurance coverage for a maximum of $25,000, for example, and the victim is awarded that or a higher amount, the insurance company will pay that first $25,000. 

    Any amount of a jury verdict beyond that point will be your personal responsibility to pay. This is why it is always important to carry proper policy limits with your insurance company. Make sure that you sit down with legal counsel sooner rather than later when being accused in a lawsuit because there is so much at stake for you personally. You need to be advised of all opportunities to gather evidence and prepare your defenses as necessary. The support of a lawyer is instrumental in helping to guide you through this process.

  • Do I Need a Lawyer for a Personal Injury Claim? 

    As you have learned by reading through the above article, there are serious steaks associated with being accused of a car accident in an at-fault state. This can have a negative impact on your immediate financial situation if you are obligated to pay out damages to anyone who is hurt, and this can also follow you on your own car insurance record. Being involved in an accident is problematic enough for your car accident rates on your insurance company policy, but it can also put you in a difficult position of facing an ongoing lawsuit. 

    Anytime that you are named in a lawsuit, it is strongly recommended that you retain an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney to represent your interest. Anytime that you are named in a lawsuit, it is strongly recommended that you retain an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney to represent your interest. You should not expect that your insurance company or the other party's insurance company has your best interest in mind.

  • How Do I Prove I Didn’t Cause an Accident? 

    At the scene of the accident, remain calm and provide details about what you think happened to the authorities. This information can become helpful down the line when it comes up as a police report. You might be able to use this and other evidence to help support your claim that you were not at fault for the accident. This can become especially important if another party has accused you of causing the accident and you find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit. Hiring your own personal injury lawyer can also assist you with responding to this claim and defending your reputation. Your lawyer might help you by reconstructing the scene of the accident, evaluating evidence gathered from the scene such as photos and videos, and bringing in expert witnesses who can help to testify about how the accident happened. 

    Our lawyers are here to help you if you have been accused. Likewise, if you were a victim in a personal injury accident, you will need experienced legal counsel to guide you through the process so that you have the best chance of recovering maximum compensation. Speak to our dedicated and highly experienced personal injury lawyers today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. There's no time to waste. 

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