Perhaps it's just a minor fender-bender in the grocery store parking lot. Presumably you misjudged the lane change and tapped into someone else's car. Minor car accidents occur on a regular basis, resulting in minor vehicle damage. While it may only be an unpleasant experience with no injuries, you may be wondering, can someone sue you for a minor car accident?
The answer is yes—whenever a person is involved in a car accident, they have the right to file a claim or a lawsuit against the other driver in order to recover compensation.
What Constitutes a Minor Car Accident?
When it comes to car accidents, there is no agreed-upon threshold for what constitutes a "minor" incident. A collision is considered minor if and only if the following conditions are met:
- After the accident, you were able to drive your car away.
- The car seat's closest door was undamaged.
- No one in the car was hurt.
- If there were airbags in the vehicle, they did not deploy during the crash.
- A child safety seat has no visible damage.
You can leave the scene of a minor accident and keep using your car as usual. All that could stand in your way is something as simple as a flat tire, which could easily be fixed. All but purely cosmetic damage would be done by such an accident. However, drivers should know that a cracked windshield, broken headlights, taillights, or mirrors can all pose serious safety risks on the road and should be repaired immediately.
When Can Someone Sue You for a Minor Car Accident?
Who can sue is usually determined by who bears a portion of the blame for the accident. And, in most cases, someone decides to sue you because:
- They are uninsured.
- The amount of their damages is greater than the maximum payout from the policy held by the liable party.
- They are unable to reach an agreement with your carrier on a settlement amount.
- They want to be compensated for losses that insurance does not cover, such as pain and suffering.
Things You Can Be Sued For After a Minor Car Accident
Even if your car accident injury case stems from a "minor" crash, the consequences of the accident are frequently far from minor. Here are some of the things you can sue for after a minor car accident:
- The cost of medical treatment
- Income loss as a result of injury
- Lost productivity
- Professional opportunities squandered
- Earning power has been lost.
- Emotional anguish
- Trauma treatment
- Other accident-related losses
What to Do First If You’re Being Sued for a Minor Car Accident
The mere threat of suing you does not imply that the other party intends to do so. But if the sheriff's office serves you with papers detailing the lawsuit, you know for sure that you're being sued for an auto accident. If in doubt, you can always verify the information by consulting the court records kept by the county clerk.
If you are being sued for damages after being involved in a car accident, you should seek legal advice immediately. To effectively defend yourself, you must seek out competent legal counsel.
You may find that your insurance company is unwilling to pay for the medical bills and other costs associated with a serious injury to a pedestrian or other motorist that was caused by you. Talk to your insurance company and an attorney specializing in car accidents to plot out your defense and learn about the possible outcomes of any legal action you may take.
After a car accident, seeking legal representation is a good idea to protect your rights under the law. Your attorney will do the following:
Determine Who Is at Fault for Your Accident
Your lawyer will investigate your case to determine fault and liability for your accident. Even if you believe you caused the accident, you should not admit fault. After investigating your accident, your lawyer may discover that you did not, in fact, cause the collision. If you've already accepted responsibility, however, that statement could be used against you and reduce your chances of receiving compensation. They may even conclude that you did not cause the accident. Assume you rear-ended another vehicle because your brakes failed. In this case, liability may fall on the manufacturer of your vehicle rather than on you.
Pursue Your Accident-Related Compensation
As previously stated, the other party may file a lawsuit to prevent you from seeking damages. In addition to defending your legal rights, your attorney may seek compensation for:
- Lost income and job-related benefits
- Property damage expenses
- Pain and suffering
Keep You Safe from the Other Party's Lawyers.
If the other party obtains legal representation, their attorneys will pursue damages with every available resource. This can have an impact on your mental health and jeopardize your financial situation.
When you hire a lawyer from the Browning Law Firm, we will fight for your legal rights. We will also prevent third parties (such as insurance companies) from exploiting you.
What Happens If You Are Sued and Can't Afford It?
Being sued can be a frightening experience. It can consume a lot of one's time while also jeopardizing one's finances.
Even if the person being sued has no valuable assets, they can be sued, but it is not a wise decision. Before going through the time-consuming and costly process of filing a complaint, most people consider the possibility of collecting from the person they're considering suing. If someone is sued or gets a judgment against them and they don't have the money to pay it off, they are "judgment evidence."
Most courts in the United States treat a judgment that a person can't pay as just another type of debt, according to attorneys and lawyers. So, it would probably be given to a collection agency, which would do everything it could to get the money back.
When someone files for bankruptcy, the debt they owe because of the case is usually wiped out. If you find yourself in this situation, it's a good thing that lawsuit judgments are not as hard to get rid of as student loans or taxes.
Another good thing is that if someone sues someone and knows they don't have enough money or insurance to pay the full amount of the judgment, they are more likely to settle for a smaller amount. A good lawyer should help you figure out what to do next, but remember that if you lose your case and can't pay your lawyer, he or she will quickly become another creditor on your list.
Talk to a Reputable Car Accident Lawyer in Florida
Did you recently have a minor car accident? Did it lead to any injuries? For advice on your legal situation, call Browning Law Firm right away. Whatever your legal needs may be following an auto accident, our team of skilled attorneys is here to help.
Contact us today for a no-cost consultation and find out what you might be owed.