3 Things You Need To Know If You're Being Sued For A Car Accident
Have you recently been involved in a car accident and have since been notified that you're being sued by the other party? If so, then you may be feeling understandably nervous; the last thing you want is to be held liable for an accident. Before you do anything though, there are some things you should know about being sued for a car accident.
Your Insurance Company Should Pay for Counsel
First and foremost, understand that you will definitely want to hire a car accident lawyer like those at Antonucci Frank & Associates Attorneys to assist you with legal advice and representation. However, before you go paying out-of-pocket for a retainer, check your auto insurance policy documents; there's a good chance that your auto insurance company will pay for your legal counsel. In most cases, it is the insurance company's responsibility to pay for the costs of your defense in addition to any settlement that is reached, up to your policy limits. Therefore, even if you are found at-fault for the accident, you may not have to pay anything out-of-pocket as a result.
Laws Vary Greatly From State to State
Furthermore, realize that laws regarding car accident claims and determining fault can vary immensely from state to state. For example, some states are considered "no-fault" states, which means that by law, no fault is assigned to drivers in the event of an accident. If you live in a no-fault state, in most cases, you cannot legally be sued for a car accident unless it can be proven that your actions were negligent. On the other hand, some other states go by "comparative negligence," which means that one driver can be assigned part of the fault and the other driver can be assigned another portion.
Your Insurance Company Isn't Always on Your Side
Finally, it's unfortunate but true: your insurance company doesn't always have your best interests in mind. Above all else, they're looking out for themselves. Therefore, even if you were not responsible for the car accident, they may be willing to offer a settlement to the other party as a means of avoiding a long and drawn out court case (and the negative publicity that goes along with it). In some cases, your insurance company may even try to claim that your actions voided your coverage, leaving you on your own to deal with the lawsuit as a result. It's important to be prepared for such a possibility.