Car accidents can be life-threatening and devastating, and the truth is about ninety percent of people who get involved in car accidents 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 so that they can cover all of their expenses.
If you are at fault for the collision or accident, facing a lawsuit can 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 might be a little bit complicated.
The truth is about ninety-five percent of injury cases get 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 many reasons for this but first, let’s take a look at the difference between judgment 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 judgment 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, suppose you want to have a perfect understanding of why settlements are preferred in most of these car accident cases. In that case, 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. They would also provide your insurance company with the necessary documents to back up their claim.
This document can be medical records, police records, eyewitness testimony, and more. They would also present your insurance company with the plaintiff’s injuries and state how your recklessness and negligence caused them.
This will lead to negotiations between your insurance company and theirs. If your insurance company believes the evidence against you is compelling, then they might push for an early settlement between both parties.
This is because if the case lingers and gets to court, then it is possible that the verdict by the judge would be more massive. However, if the evidence against you is uncertain and weak, 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 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 evidence to back up their case. 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 have insurance coverage, it is not up to you to pay for it. It is up to the insurance company to pay, so they always move to settle quickly because it is in their best interests. There are many 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 a trial. Both parties would look for a way to settle 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 about settling.
The plaintiff would want to avoid 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 a 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. It is better to settle these cases quickly because if an insurance company agrees to an amount, they will pay out quickly.
Furthermore, if you get a judgment in court, there is no guarantee that you would collect the money soon. Why is this so? If the judge decides on an amount that is more than what the plaintiff has in his policy, 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, the costs start to increase. You can avoid this through an early settlement, and both parties would not have to incur any unwanted and unnecessary costs. Furthermore, settling a claim 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 everyone achieves closure on time through settlement.
It would help if you learned how to do when you are being sued for a car accident is not to panic. It would help if you stayed 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 be a scary situation, but if you decide to be smart about it, you might luckily cut down your legal liability. It would be best if you did not forget to inform your insurance company when you realize you are being sued for a car accident.
In most car accident cases that happen all year round, the at-fault driver’s policy is enough to cover the injuries and the outcome of the verdict. However, if this isn’t the case, you will find out early enough and start making provisions to get some additional funds. In some cases, they might file a lawsuit a year after the accident, and if this happens, then a reasonable explanation and causative effect should be provided why it took so long to 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 evidence and legal prowess to win the case.