Yes, someone can sue you for a car accident even if you have insurance. Unless you live in a no-fault state, you can easily be sued for financial and personal damages in car accidents that you cause. If you have a liability insurance policy (which is required in most states), your insurance company will likely pay for an attorney to defend you in court. However, there are certain situations where they aren’t obligated to do so.
When Insurance Doesn’t Have to Pay for a Lawyer
- You did not notify the insurance company within a certain timeframe, which can be anywhere from 5-30 days, depending on the specifics of the policy.
- The cost of the other driver’s damages exceeds the limits of your policy.
- You intentionally caused the accident.
If you have car insurance and you’re sued after a car accident that you caused, it’s likely for one of two reasons: either you don’t have enough insurance to cover all of the other driver’s expenses or the insurance claim process is taking a long time. If the first applies to you, your insurance company is under no obligation to help you once they’ve paid up to the limits of your policy.
However, the rules for filing a lawsuit after a car accident are different in no-fault states. No-fault states require drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which provides coverage for minor injuries sustained in an accident. This eliminates the need for small personal injury cases to go to court, as every driver is protected by their own insurance policy. In these 12 states, you can only file a lawsuit against the other driver if your injuries are severe or your economic damages have exceeded a certain amount. The specific thresholds for each scenario vary depending on the state.
While you can’t control whether or not the other driver will sue you after an accident that you caused, there are steps that you can take to put yourself in the best position possible. The most important things are to notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible and to understand the limits of your policy. If you do end up being sued, take the time to understand what exactly you’re being sued for and what steps your insurer is taking to help you.
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