Car Accident Lawsuit Filed Against Me?
Car accidents can be life threatening and devastating and the truth is about ninety percent of people who get involved in car accident end up losing their lives. In other cases, a motorist might end up suffering injuries and damages and would be left with no choice but to sue the at fault driver just so all of their expenses can be covered. If you are at fault for the collision or accident, facing a lawsuit can actually be scary and stressful for you. If the driver attempts to sue you, understanding the legal process can also be challenging for you.
If you are the at fault driver in a car accident and the other party is suing you then the first thought that crosses your mind would be to know if the other party wants a settlement. The short answer to that question might be probably while the longer answer is it might be a little bit complicated. Truth is about ninety five percent of injury cases gets settled without even going to court and this is also true for car accident cases. The question is; why is this so? Well there are a lot of reasons for this but first, lets take a look at the difference between judgement and settlement.
Difference Between A Settlement And Judgement Following A Car Accident
Taking a mere look at this, you can actually tell that the common difference between a settlement and a judgement is that one can take place in court while the other doesn’t need to take place in court for it to be achieved. However, if you want to have a perfect understanding regarding why settlements are preferred in most of these car accident cases, then you also have to understand what is involved in the decision making process in each of these cases. So, if you are being sued for being at fault in a car accident then that makes you the defendant and the victim the plaintiff.
The first thing to take place would be the plaintiff’s attorney filing a claim against you with your insurance company and they would also provide your insurance company with the necessary documents that they have to backup their claim. This document can be medical records, police records, eyewitness testimony and more. They would also present your insurance company with the injuries that the plaintiff has sustained and also state how they were caused by your recklessness and negligence.
This will lead to negotiations between your insurance company and theirs and if your insurance company believes the evidences against you are compelling then they might push for an early settlement between both parties. The reason for this is because if the case lingers and gets to court then it is very possible that the verdict by the judge would be more massive. However, if the evidences against you are uncertain and weak then your insurance company might offer the other party a lower amount.
This would go on until both parties are satisfied and they end up not being satisfied then the case would have to go to trial. This is the point where the case gets messed up a bit because it falls to the judge to determine what amount should be paid and who is getting it. The plaintiff’s attorney and your insurance attorney standing for you would provide evidences to backup their case and once the judge comes up with a decision, it cannot be contested or negotiated. This is why if you are being sued for being at fault in a car accident, opting for settlement before trial is always the best option.
Car Accident Lawsuit Filed Against Me
If you are being sued for a car accident and you have insurance coverage then it is not up to you to pay for it. It is up to the insurance company to pay and that is why they always make a move to settle quickly because it is in their own best interests. There are lots of reasons why insurance companies do these things but have it at the back of your mind that the goal of an insurance company would be to settle a claim as quickly as possible. This is why they always push hard for a settlement and if you are the plaintiff then the settlement is also in your own best interest.
Before accepting any offer from an insurance company, make sure you seek legal help from an experienced attorney. The insurance company attorney and the attorney of the plaintiff will try as possible to avoid a trial. This is because nothing is certain and anything can happen during the course of a trial. Both parties would look for a way to reach a settlement since they want to cut down on risks and avoid an unexpected result. Both parties might not necessarily get what they want but there is a feel or degree of certainty that comes with reaching a settlement.
The plaintiff would want to avoid the risk of getting nothing while the defendant would also avoid the risk of getting slammed with a massive verdict. Both of these are bound to happen if a case gets to trial and once it happens, it cannot be negotiated. After a car accident, the plaintiff would want to get settlement or compensation as soon as possible. This is because money at hand now is worth more than money to be gotten later.
In addition, the plaintiff might have some pending expenses like lost wages and medical bills and the longer it takes to resolve the case, the deeper the plaintiff is likely to run into debt. This is why it is better to settle these cases quickly because if an insurance company agrees to an amount then they are going to pay out quickly. Furthermore, if you get a judgement in court, there is no guarantee that you would collect the money soon. Why is this so? This is because if the judge decides on an amount that is more than what the plaintiff has in his policy then he would have to pay out the overage from his pocket.
There is no guarantee that the defendant would meet up with paying the overage so the best way to get your money quickly is through settlement. Another aspect to look at is litigation. The cost of litigation is very expensive and when a particular case drags on in court for a very long time then the costs start to increase. Through an early settlement, this can be avoided and both parties would not have to incur any unwanted and unnecessary costs. Furthermore, settling a claim quickly helps both parties to reach closure on time.
Now what do we mean by this, When you are being sued for being the at fault driver in a car accident, you want to end everything quickly and get on with your life definitely and the plaintiff would also want to move on from the injuries that he or she has sustained. Both insurance companies also want to settle quickly and move on so through settlement, everyone achieves closure on time.
One thing you should learn how to do when you are being sued for a car accident is not to panic. You should stay calm when you find out that the other party wants to sue you for your recklessness and negligence. Getting sued for a car accident can actually be a scary situation no doubt but if you decide to be smart about it, you might luckily cut down your legal liability. You should not forget to inform your insurance company the moment you realize you are being sued for a car accident.
In most of the car accident cases that happens all year round, the policy of the at fault driver is enough to cover for the injuries and the outcome of the verdict. However, if this isn’t the case then you are going to find out early enough and start making provisions on how to get some additional funds. In some cases, a lawsuit might be filed a year after the accident and if this happens then a reasonable explanation and causative effect should be provided why it took so long file a lawsuit.
Your first line of defense should be your insurance company and having a lawyer by your side is the next line of action to take. One mistake you shouldn’t make is representing yourself in cases like this. This is a very skilled battle and at the end of the day, it would come down to the party with evidences and legal prowess to win the case.