Having to defend yourself can be as stressful as the incident itself. What happens if someone sues you after a traffic accident depends on how good is liability auto insurance coverage. The one thing that can reduce stress at this point is the existence of a sufficient policy to lean onto. Usually, the carrier will step in and work on your behalf until the case is refuted or settled. In a way, you are in their hands.
You are obliged to let the carrier know of any threat, claim or lawsuits against you as soon as you are aware of them, regardless of intentions and circumstances. You should relay or pass any communication from the claimants and let them deal with it. You will get a reference number and details of the adjuster appointed to the case. You can pass this information to third parties and ask them to contact him/her directly.
The point is that even though you are the one who is blamed and targeted with a lawsuit their real intention is probably to get money from automobile insurance. In all likelihood, they are on the hook to pay on behalf of policyholders. Therefore, it is extremely important that you get them involved from the first contact. Under no circumstances you should discuss fault, accept any responsibility or try to negotiate with the third parties. All these should be done by them since they are the ones who are most likely to end up paying for it.
You would hope and pray that you have sufficient liability vehicle insurance if you were in an unfortunate situation of being sued for a collision that was your fault. Then, the provider has to step in to defend you against accusations and in court if it goes there. The carrier is obliged to represent your best interests and help protect you from personal liability. They will appoint a loss adjuster and an attorney if necessary to deal with the case.
Standard liability car insurance covers the listed and authorized drivers against claims arising from accidents caused by negligence and (in most states) reckless driving up to the policy limits.
The auto accident lawyer appointed by the carrier represents you and therefore, you need to work with them as best as you can. They will provide legal representation before and during any trial, should that happen. They will also, pursue all the other avenues, including negotiating a settlement before trial. Defendants usually have to accept and rely on provided lawyer. They are not given a choice.
Sufficient coverage is the key word here. If the damages and injuries you caused are much higher than liability limits they will inform you of the position and you will need to address the situation because you are responsible personally for losses over the limits. This goes to show the importance of buying adequate protection. This usually only happens when the plaintiffs or their attorney knows that you are rich and can pay much higher settlement. Otherwise, most of them keep it within the policy limits.
What Should You Do If You Are Sued But Not Insured?
You will have to reply to any accusations against you. So, it is probably best to call the accuser or the representatives and let them know that you don’t have a policy in force. Then, they will probably look into your financial position and decide for themselves. If they have Uninsured Motorist Coverage they will probably pursue the claim with their own providers. Then it is up to the company to come after you or not. In any case, you will probably have many days of anxious wait and sleepless nights. More than ever, you would wish you bought plenty protection.