When you are being sued for car accident, you must be aware of what steps you should take to protect yourself. You could take control over the situation by understanding what to expect from the scenario and by knowing how you can best protect your rights while moving forward with the incident. Whether you are the driver at fault, partially involved in the incident, or without any fault, whatever be the reason you should start taking responsible measures to save your interest.
What to do right after the accident
When you get into an accident, stop at the spot and figure out what damage you have caused to the pedestrians, parked vehicles, or other’s personal property. You must exchange the crucial information with the at-fault, partially involved, or blameless party (ies), because failure to stop after the crime or accident is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by traffic law. You would turn your simple case into a hit-and-run offense by not stopping at the accident spot.
It’s important to remain calm and focused to comprehend the situation and think wisely. Be aware if you need to remove your car from the road or if someone needs help. Do not panic and avoid making statements that may sound guilty like ‘I didn’t see your vehicle coming’ or ‘I’m sorry’ etc. Avoid sharing information and discussing things personally, let your insurance company deal with it.
Remember to call an officer for any emergency service and to inform your insurance company to report the accident spot and gather evidence and prepare the claim to be filed (if deems fit). Be patient and tell everything exactly how it happened by refraining from admitting any guilt that may go against you. In support of your claim, take pictures of the vehicles, surroundings, damages, and collect evidence in the form of contact information from witnesses as well.
The statute of limitations against a personal injury lawsuit is about three years – this means that the victims of car accidents can file a lawsuit against the defendant within three years to claim the damages. That is why it is important to adhere to the mentioned guidelines to simply put away yourself in cases when you can be sued after a collision.
When can you be sued?
Many automobile liability insurance policies come up with a specific amount of compensation in cases where personal injury damages are claimed. However, a victim has all the rights to sue a driver at fault if:
- Economical damages and medical expenses exceed the limit of no-fault policy which is $50,000.
- Any of the following serious injuries
- Fetus loss
- Loss of body organ, system, or function
- Permanent function limitations of any body organ or system
- Medically proven impairment of organs or injuries that limit physical or social activities of the victim
- At-fault driver or the victim does not meet the minimum requirements for adequate insurance
If any of the mentioned unfortunate events occurred, and you are the driver at fault for the accident, contact your insurance company immediately. Your insurance liability policy will cover the damages to the other party. And it will be in your best interest that your insurance company settles the case as their entire aim is to close the case as quickly as they can. For this, they would work hard to push the case to get it resolved.
But in cases where you are the plaintiff, to have the settlement outside the court will remain in your best interest. But then again, be sure to consult a personal injury lawyer before you accept the settlement.
Why insurers and attorneys avoid trials
Insurance companies and attorneys of plaintiffs avoid the court trial because of the unpredictability of the verdict.
A trial can end up on anything and can also demand much more from the insurance company depending on the evidence and victim’s claims. To reduce the risks and unexpected results, both defendants and plaintiffs try to settle the lawsuit outside the court.
This possibly happens because perhaps it’s not certain that both the parties will eventually get what they might be expecting. The plaintiff may get nothing if the defendant would succeed in retaining the claim, and the defendant could get remarks on the license if claims proved accurate. For this, to avoid these non-negotiating and non-mitigating verdicts, both parties prefer settlements.
If you or your loved one being sued for car accident, then make sure to remain calm, avoid making false statements, and attain the maximum benefits with the help of your insurance policies and with your injury lawyer in cases where you are the plaintiff.
Furthermore, drive safely on the roads since violation of traffic laws may take you to suffer severe ramifications.
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