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Can Someone Sue You for a Car Accident?

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In some cases, insurance may not protect you in every instance from being sued for car accidents, especially if you are the at-fault driver.

As an experienced car accident attorney with more than 10 years of experience, I will address all aspects of these cases in this article.

Quick Summary

  • You must contact your insurance provider immediately if you are sued for a vehicle accident.
  • Serious injuries might quickly exceed your insurance coverage, giving the other party a stronger motive to sue you.
  • A driver's insurance covers certain expenditures following an accident.

5 Scenarios You Can Be Sued for a Car Accident

A woman looking at a broken carYou can be sued if you do not tell your insurance company or if your coverage is insufficient to pay for the other person's injuries and losses.

You can be sued if the other person's injuries cost more than your insurance company will pay or if the accident results in severe injuries and people cannot agree on who is responsible.

Let me explain the situation where someone might sue you personally. 

1. The Insurance Settlement Was Not ِEnough

In an accident, the at-fault driver's insurer may try to give the other driver a low settlement because they want to save money and not pay the full amount. 

But, if insurance companies do not provide a fair settlement that won't cover what the other party needs to recover completely, they will take legal action against you.

2. You Are at Fault

In order for the other driver to win an automotive liability lawsuit against you, they must prove that you caused the accident. If they can prove that the accident was your fault, this will help them sue you and receive financial compensation.

3. You Fail to Report an Accident

If a driver damages their car to the point where it is no longer drivable, they must tell the police by law [1]. You could be sued without notifying your insurance company of the accident.

4. Insufficient Coverage and Serious Injuries

Costs for serious injuries can quickly surpass your policy limits, giving the other party more of a reason to sue you and seek compensation.

5. Liability Disputes

Some car accident cases are solved before anyone needs to go to court. But, if people can't agree on what happened, who was responsible, or how bad the injuries are, it might mean that only a judge or jury can decide.

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What Do They Need to Prove to Sue You?

A car insurance worker measuring a car scratch

To sue you, they need to prove duty of care, breach of duty of care, causation, and damages. 

Proving fault and liability is the most critical aspect of a vehicle accident. To sue someone, here's what you need to know:

  • All drivers are responsible for driving in a way that does not put other travelers at risk on the road.
  • If a driver does not fulfill that responsibility, they have been negligent.
  • When the driver's carelessness causes a vehicle collision resulting in injuries and property damage, they are at fault.

What Happens if You Are an Uninsured Driver?

A woman stressed while sitting in front of a car accident

The car accident victims will file a car accident lawsuit against you if you are an uninsured driver. The victims usually want to sue someone, and these lawsuits will usually be filed against uninsured drivers or those without sufficient insurance.

If the responsible driver is uninsured, they won't have the policy to report an insurance claim or car accident claim. In this case, the other party has two alternatives:

1. Suing the Driver Individually

They can sue the driver who hit them and caused severe injuries. But most of these drivers do not have money to pay. 

2. Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim

Most drivers have what is called uninsured motorist coverage (UM). Even if they have UM coverage, your insurance company may not pay for all of their costs. Talk to an experienced car accident lawyer who knows the car accident laws in your state.

"Deciding to go to court is a personal preference, and you could get a larger compensation. Therefore, it's essential to recognize the right time when suing the other driver is in your best interest."
- Kris Helmick, Personal Injury Lawyer

How Much Can You Get Sued for After a Car Accident?

A lawyer pointing to a contract while signing

There is no limit on how much you can get sued for after a car accident. 

However, there are a few things to think about that they may be able to recover compensation for:

  • Medical bills: They can claim any medical expenses incurred due to the accident as compensation for the initial medical treatment.
  • Lost wages: They can include lost income.
  • Pain and suffering: They could be compensated for the pain and suffering caused by car accidents.

FAQs

Is It Worth It to Sue Someone Personally After a Car Accident?

Yes, it is worth it to sue someone personally after a car accident, especially if the other driver's insurance company has already paid out the maximum amount or is not offering the right amount. 

How Do You Prove Fault and Liability After a Car Accident?

To prove fault and liability after a car accident, you must show that the other driver was careless or reckless and that their actions led to the collision. This can be done by gathering evidence from the scene of the accident, eyewitness testimony, and police reports.

Can I Still File for Damages Even if I’m Partly at Fault for the Accident?

Yes, you can still file for damages even if you are partly at fault for the accident. Remember that if you're at fault for the accident, your recovery compensation from a personal injury claim will be reduced by your percentage of negligence. 

After being in a car crash, one of the first questions that may come to mind is whether you can sue or be sued. 

During a free legal consultation call, our team of personal injury lawyers at Schmidt & Clark LLP will answer all your questions so you can put your mind at ease.

A passionate personal injury lawyer will evaluate the specifics of your case in a free case evaluation and determine the best course of action for you. We will be there for you every step of the way if you are being sued after an accident, assisting you through your legal choices.


Reference:

  1. https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/LI/consCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&ttl=75&div=0&chpt=37&sctn=46&subsctn=0

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