If you are involved in a car accident and the driver of the other vehicle decides to take legal action against you, what you need to do is to ensure you are calm. Being sued is usually a stressing and overwhelming situation, but if you are intelligent enough, you will be in a position to limit your liability to almost nothing. Legal actions emanating from an auto accident can cost you your assets including your house if you are not careful.
When Can I Be Sued?
In case you were the driver of the car that caused the accident, there’s a high chance you can be sued by the passengers or driver of the other car. However, this will depend on whether you are in a state that mandates no-fault insurance or in a tort state. If you live in the latter state, you can be sued in case a person is injured as a result of the accident you caused. In such a situation, you would be responsible for covering auto damage, lost income, medical costs, and pain and suffering. If the plaintiff sues you and you do not carry an auto liability, you’ll pay these cost from your own pocket if you do not win the case. In case there’s no money to pay, other legal methods may be applicable such as the garnishment of your wages.
You Could Lose Your Assets including Your House
If there is a lawsuit against you as a result of an accident you caused, then you would want your insurance provider to handle the case within the limits of your policy. The important thing is that the judgment made does not exceed the limits of your insurance. Your insurance provider will need to provide an attorney to defend you in court but you may opt to use your own personal lawyer to settle the case. If your insurer has the opportunity to settle the case within the limits of your policy but fail to do so, you may speak to experienced lawyers who can handle car accident settlements to determine whether you can have a claim against the insurers.
You also need to know that if the auto accident case settles in excess of your insurance limit, the creditor has the right to seize your possible bank balances or your personal assets including your home. If there is a lawsuit against you, make sure you contact your insurance organization as soon as possible so they can settle within the limits of your policy.
No Play, No Pay
Another set of circumstance influencing lawsuits in an auto accident is the no play, no pay which is in effect in ten states: North Dakota, Oregon, Iowa, Alaska, California, Michigan, Louisiana, New Jersey, Kansas, and Michigan. In these states, if you do not have an insurance policy and happen to be injured in an accident due to the other driver’s fault, then you may have limited ability to sue for compensation.
Auto injury cases are quite complex and deciding whether or not you are going to lose your property as a result of a lawsuit resulting from an auto accident will depend on a myriad of factors. However, it is always advisable to speak to your attorney first before making any decisions because this professional can guide you on the right steps to take.