First of all, driving without insurance is illegal. It is a legal violation in the states of America. Along with many others, the most important cruciality of this law is that it helps you resolve the cost of damages in a car accident. If there is any physical injury or damage to the car, the associated expenditure is carried out by the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
So, what if you have insurance and you are the responsible party? Can someone sue you for a car accident if you have insurance to cover the damage costs? Yes, the other party can file a legal lawsuit against you. Here, we detail the most possible reasons.
Facts of a Car Accident Lawsuit Against You
If you are responsible for a car accident, the below facts can provide you with an insightful view of car accident laws.
- It can make you pay for the victim’s physical injury-related costs (medical bills, drugstore bills, other assistance services, etc.).
- It can make you pay for any kind of damage to the car due to an accident.
- You can receive imprisonment.
- A car accident case will cost you time, money, and effort while triggering higher levels of mental stress.
- Your lawyer’s experience and initiative matter a lot.
Phases of a Car Accident Lawsuit
Whether you are the responsible person or not, if there is any court case, you have to participate in the following step-wise processes of a car accident court case.
- Opposite party files a complaint or petition and you will receive the notice. Take notice by signing.
- Hire a lawyer and consult the case.
- As the defendant’s lawyer, he or she might file a “Motion” to get competitive advantages.
- If you cannot settle the case outside of court, the judge will set a trial date.
- You have to attend the court sessions and assist both parties’ lawyers in digging deeper.
- You have to acknowledge the “Motion for Summary Judgment.” It can lead to a trial or a financial settlement.
- If the judge decides on a trial, you have to attend a court session to receive the decision from the judge, usually in the presence of juries.
Why Can Someone Sue You for a Car Accident If You Have Insurance? 5 Reason
As mentioned earlier, if you are at fault in a car accident, your insurance company will cover the other party’s recovery-related expenses. So, why do they still file a court case? We detail the possible reasons below.
1. Inadequate Insurance Coverage
If your insurance policy’s range of claims is less than the recovery cost, the opposite party can file a legal lawsuit. Here, the money they get from your insurance company is not sufficient to pay the medical bills, treatment-related bills (drug, oxygen supply, at-home nurse’s cost, lost wages for inability to go to work, etc.), auto repair shop’s bill, and so on.
2. Delay in Claim Settlement
In many cases, insurance companies delay the claims’ payments due to concerns about their financial gains, deeper investigations, official delays, a lack of evidence, etc. In such cases, an impatient party may file a case against you. Remember, though your insurance company is liable to pay, you are the primary stakeholder here. Any shortcomings of the insurance company will be considered your negligence by the opponent.
3. Wrong Assessment
Imagine that an on-the-spot assessment indicates that you are not responsible for the accident and you are going to receive a claim settlement from the opposite party’s insurance company. Meanwhile, the opposition realises the accident was not caused by him or her. In this case, by considering the final status of the claim payment, he or she can file a case against you. The objective is to stop the payments and get a reevaluation of his or her position in the accident as a not-responsible stakeholder.
4. Conflicting Context Regarding Damage Evaluation
Sometimes both parties’ insurance companies or lawyers cannot reach a settlement by coming up with different damage evaluations. In such a case, the opposition may file a legal complaint to make you agree with their evaluation.
5. There is a Death or Permanent Physical Injury
If there is a death or permanent physical injury to the opposite car’s passengers, it is the worst situation for you as the responsible party. The filed case against you may take you to jail. We suggest you get an experienced lawyer in such a context.
We expect that now you know how can someone sue you for a car accident if you have insurance. However, we suggest you contact the insurance company immediately after receiving a summons. Also, depending on the criticality of the case, you should have your own lawyer alongside the insurance company’s legal assistance.
General Questions About a Car Accident Lawsuit
What should you do if an involved person sues you for a car accident?
Contact your insurance company immediately and provide them with all the details about the accident, which includes pictures, a detailed observation from your end, possible witness details, etc. Above all, do not incorporate with the other party’s insurance company or lawyer alone.
How long after a car accident can someone sue you?
Well, it depends on state law. In general, the victim can file a legal complaint against you within 2 years of the incident.
Can my insurance company sue me for a car accident?
Yes. Surprising but true, your insurance company can sue you for a car accident. Here, the possible legal grounds are a bad-faith claim, a violation of contract, etc.
He is an associate at Car Law Info. Also focuses on car accident litigation, personal injury cases and any damage compensation reporting with a special emphasis on car insurance defense.