Mishaps can happen even to the best of drivers. Road accidents are a cause of severe injuries and property damage. According to a study, road accidents cause around 1.3 million deaths worldwide.
Being involved in an accident creates a lot of confusion and panic, especially if you are the one being sued. During his time, it is essential to stay calm so you can decide how to proceed further.
The following are a few measures you should follow.
Hire a Lawyer
You should consider contacting a lawyer if you get sued personally after a car accident. Your insurance company generally provides you with a lawyer. With so many things to ponder, a lawyer can provide you with the appropriate legal advice to guide you through this process. An experienced lawyer will make sure that you don’t miss any critical deadlines like filing paperwork or other materials with the court.
It is easier to protect your rights with the proper legal counsel.
Stay at the Accident Scene
You should stay at the scene and wait for the police to arrive. Failure to stop is a punishable offense. You don’t want to make this a hit-and-run case. Additionally, exchange necessary information with the other party.
Ask for Medical Assistance
You must assess yourself for injuries. Injuries that seem minor may become serious later on. Our bodies react to stress by releasing adrenaline, which dulls the pain for a brief period. Many injuries only show up hours after the accident. It is better to contact a medical professional who will check for skeletal or soft tissue damage.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Your car insurance company can help you cover the cost of damages. If the cost exceeds your insurance limit, you will have to pay out of your pocket to provide compensation for the other party.
If the other driver sustains serious injuries, you may face a lawsuit. In this case, your insurance company may negotiate a deal with the injured party and deflect going to court.
The other driver is eligible to receive compensation for the following:
- Medical assistance
- Property Damage
- Lost income
- Absence from work
- Scarring, disabilities, disfigurement, paralysis, amputations, and other permanent injuries.
- Psychological illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder.
When Does Your Insurance Company Deny You a Lawyer?
Generally, all insurance companies have a “duty to defend” policy. According to the policy, the company provides a lawyer in the event of an accident involving property damages and injuries. However, it is essential to note that there are certain circumstances in which the insurance company will deny a lawyer to its policyholder. Here are three situations where you may not qualify for a lawyer.
- No notice of accident: You should report the accident within a specific timeframe. If the obligation is not met, your insurance company will not provide you with a lawyer.
- Intentionally Causing a Car Accident: Insurance policies generally avoid covering the acts of negligence. Your company would refuse you a lawyer if you were found to have caused the accident on purpose.
- Damages Exceeding Policy Limits: If the other party reports damages that exceed your insurance limit, the company will not offer you a lawyer. Generally speaking, once the insurer pays out the damages, it has no legal obligation to the insured.
If You Are Partly at Fault
If two drivers share fault in an accident, the percentage of your responsibility will be determined. Losses will be calculated accordingly for both drivers. You will receive reduced compensation if your percentage of fault is higher. A lawyer will make sure that you receive fair compensation.
What to do When you are Injured?
Even if the insurance company provides you with a lawyer, that lawyer will not be able to help with your injury case. If you have sustained injuries and believe the other party is responsible, you have to contact a different lawyer to help you. Your personal injury lawyer will gather evidence, talk to witnesses, and contact doctors. These measures are taken to protect your rights and give you total compensation.
Gather Evidence at the Scene
Document evidence that can help prove that you were not at fault. Take pictures of road conditions, property damages, and any obstructions on site. Record details like the time of day and weather conditions. If anyone happens to be at the accident scene, get their contact information. They act as witnesses, and their testimony holds weight.
Finding yourself sued in an accident is a challenging position to be in. However, following proper procedures is crucial. It can help save you a lot of trouble and even give you the compensation you deserve. That said, always drive safely without any distractions. Follow road rules and avoid speeding at all costs. Remember, prevention is better than cure.