Car accidents are already stressful and upsetting, but when insurance companies and lawyers are thrown into the mix, things can get complicated fast. Insurance would lead most people to believe they are safe from further legal trouble. It's not always the case, though. If you are wondering can someone sue you for a car accident if you have insurance police reports says both at fault, continue reading as we breakdown this down below.
Car Accidents: Who's at Fault?
Anyone who has been in a car crash is familiar with the aftermath to some extent. In most cases, the police will be called to the scene of an accident in which someone was hurt or property was destroyed. They will look at the scene, interview the drivers, and any witnesses, and then write up a report with their findings and conclusions about what happened and who is at fault. A police report for an accident can be created either at the scene or later. Their report may state who is to held responsible, as well as who received citations for what. When a driver files a claim, both parties' insurers will send an adjuster to investigate.
Though helpful, the police report is not conclusive evidence of fault in an accident. The insurance company will conduct witness interviews, review medical records, and inspect the damaged vehicle to determine who was at fault. Furthermore, they will check the drivers' insurance information. They too may consult the police report, but they are under no compulsion to reach the same conclusion.
Similarly, if you are sued, the court may reach yet another fault determination. Police reports are sometimes dismissed by courts as hearsay. Alternatively, courts will use whoever received citations to determine fault.
Whether you are wholly at fault, partially at fault, or not at fault at all will determine your legal recourse. The laws of the state in which you currently reside will also affect your choices.
When a Lawsuit Can Be Filed Against You
Sometimes, in a car crash, both drivers could be at fault. In these cases, insurance adjusters assign liability based on the laws of the state where the traffic accident occurred. In some states, neither party in a shared-fault accident has the right to seek compensation from the other driver or their insurer. In other states, either party can seek compensation from the other, or only one party can seek recovery if the fault of the other party does not exceed a certain level.
According to OCGA 51-1-6, a person who is injured as a result of another person's breach of legal duty has the right to recover damages. This means that if they were injured in a car accident caused by you, they are likely entitled to seek compensation for their losses. They can do this even if they are partially to blame for the accident—as long as they are not 50% or more to blame. Even when your insurance has already paid out the maximum amount they can file for in their claim and they still not happy with it.
When I go to Court, Will My Insurance Cover me?
If you are ever sued, your legal defense costs will be covered by your insurance policy. Your legal representation is covered by your policy. Your insurance policy will pay for some or all of the damages the court orders you to pay if you are found guilty. In some cases, however, coverage gaps may exist.
There are situations in which you may have to cover your own legal fees. Among them are:
- Damages exceeding policy limit - If you have $50,000 in property damage coverage but put a hole in someone's house that exceeds that number, then you need to pay for anything over that amount.
- Acts done on purpose - Insurance covers acts done carelessly. If you cause an accident on purpose, your insurance won't pay for the legal costs.
- No notice: After an accident, you have to tell your insurance company right away. If you don't do it by the deadline, your insurance may not pay for you.
When Someone Sues Me for Causing an Automobile Accident, What Should I Do?
Hearing that you are being sued is very unsettling. Here are some things you can do to lighten your load.
Get in touch with your insurer
Notify your insurance provider that you will be going to court as soon as possible. You can rely on your agency to support you and supply you with the tools you'll need to get through this difficult time.
Respond to the required paperwork
The person who is suing you sends you a summons to let you know about the lawsuit and when you need to show up in court. There is a time limit on your response. You should also send a copy of the summons and any other paperwork you get about the lawsuit to your insurance company.
Talk to an Attorney
You should consult an attorney immediately if you are being sued. You shouldn't have to deal with this kind of threat without the help of a lawyer. Your insurance company might pay for a lawyer to help you. But you might feel more at ease with a lawyer you've worked with before. Many lawyers offer free consultations, so you can get free legal advice on what to do and say and how to move forward. Since each state has its own rules, a lawyer who knows the laws of your state can save you money in the long run.
Can someone sue you for a car accident if you have insurance police reports says both at fault? Yes. But don’t worry, an accomplished legal representative, such as those practicing at Browning Law Firm, is a valuable asset. Your lawyer will watch out for your interests and make sure you don't get taken advantage of legally. If the other driver is trying to take advantage of you and sue you for more than they are entitled to, our seasoned attorney will tell you right away. The right legal representation can help you assess the merits of the case against you and prepare a defense if necessary.
Browning Law Firm is here to help you put your injury in the past without charging you anything unless we win your case. To schedule your no-cost consultation, please get in touch right away.