Auto Accidents and How to Combat a Lawsuit
Fighting a lawsuit is a problem many people can face after being involved in a car accident. According to legal experts, the issues usually come down to money. If the plaintiff feels the insurance company isn’t offering enough compensation, their legal team will prepare to pursue a lawsuit against you. Your problem is that you could be held liable for more money than your insurance covers. Liability can transcend insurance company limits and hold you personally responsible for greater expenses, including high compensation for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
Negotiations and Responsibility
There are many ways to challenge personal injury lawsuits. The most important one is seeking legal help. Talk to an attorney about counterclaims and admissions of partial responsibility for the accident or injury the other side suffered.
Your lawyer will help you challenge the numbers of estimated expenses and even the extent of the other party’s injuries. It’s difficult to play defense in a personal injury case if the plaintiff provides supportive documentation that points to your guilt, as most auto accident cases usually rely on police reports. However, you can challenge whether you had a duty of care to the plaintiff, whether you breached that duty, and whether the breach caused compensable harm.
One way to combat the plaintiff’s case is catching them with false or exaggerated statements. Judges would strike misleading information from the record like false claims, unproven claims, and overstated pain and suffering cases. You can even challenge expert medical testimony by hiring your expert witness with a radically different interpretation of events.
The High Cost of Human Error
In most cases, simple human error doesn’t cost you much. Auto insurance and other types of insurance cover most legal liabilities for almost all of us. For example, consumer reports and statistics show that about 94% of car crashes are caused by human error or negligence. Fortunately, most states require liability insurance for drivers, which covers most of the costs. They usually include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages for those unable to work, and compensation for pain and suffering.
However, insurance companies don’t like to pay more than the policy’s liability limits. Sometimes, the adjusters refuse to pay enough to cover seemingly valid claims. That’s why a plaintiff might file a lawsuit against you. This can be a deadly serious effort to recover from a devastating event or a negotiating tactic to get a better settlement offer and make you pay.
Tips for Fighting a Lawsuit
According to a Greenwood auto accident attorney, the costs of fighting a lawsuit can add significantly to your financial burden. When safe, responsible drivers can be targeted as defendants in lawsuits, as nobody is immune to accident victims trying to negotiate a higher settlement. The following tips can help you fight a lawsuit.
- Hire a Legal Specialist: You need an experienced personal injury attorney for motor vehicle accident claims or a business liability attorney together with a car accident one if you are being sued by a business/entity whose driver you hurt.
- Start Your Claim: Don’t delay filing your claim or counterclaim. There might be certain statutes of limitations to respect, so seek legal counsel. It’s also important to let your opponent know that they face a fight.
- Try to Document Your Claims and Disprove Your Opponent’s Claims: Document everything about the case – weather and road conditions at the time of the crash, photos of the accident, information about any injuries, contact information of others, witness statements, and insurance company information. In addition, keep a complete record of all related expenses and any loss of income on your part.
- Be Professional and Honest: Being honest makes your claims more believable. Don’t exaggerate or lie in your testimony because it will backfire. Insurance adjusters, judges, and juries don’t look favorably at people who lie or exaggerate to avoid paying an accident settlement. Adopting a professional, non-confrontational attitude also increases your credibility.
- Use Your Attorney for Negotiations: Negotiating with the other party or parties on your own is not recommended because you don’t have experience or objectivity. That’s why you should lawyer up no matter if you are the plaintiff or the defendant. The attorney can recommend whether you should accept or reject the offer.
Get Legal Help
Hiring an attorney is critical if someone sues you for a motor vehicle accident. Get an auto accident lawyer to explain your legal situation, rights, options, and ways to fight a lawsuit in your city or state.