Can Someone Sue You For A Car Accident If You Have Insurance?

Updated October, 2020
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Yes, someone can sue you after a car accident even if you have an insurance policy. Fortunately, insurance protects you in this event. Auto insurance comes with liability coverage that pays for any legal expenses that may arise from a collision.

Determining fault after an accident

There are several ways authorities determine fault after a collision. For starters, they interview all parties involved. In some cases, a driver admits to causing the accident, which makes the case straightforward.

Authorities look at evidence from the crash scene, such as the location of the cars and where the damage is located. Police may also secure video footage from nearby cameras to see the accident in real-time.

However, there are several no-fault states. This means drivers have insurance that covers their own injuries and damages. They don't need to pay out to cover the costs for someone else. No-fault states include:

  • Utah
  • North Dakota
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • Michigan
  • Kentucky
  • Florida
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • Massachusetts

Will my insurance protect me from going to court?

Your insurance covers the cost of going to court if you end up getting sued. Your policy pays for a lawyer to defend you in court.

If you're found guilty, your insurance policy also covers part or all of what you need to pay the other party. But there are exceptions where insurance may not cover everything.

When will my insurance not protect me?

Certain exceptions exist where you may need to pay out-of-pocket for legal expenses. They include:

  • Damages exceeding policy limit - If you have $50,000 in property damage coverage but put a hole in someone's house that exceeds that number, then you need to pay for anything over that amount.
  • Intentional act - Insurance covers negligent actions. Causing an accident intentionally means your insurance doesn't cover legal costs.
  • No notice - You have to notify your insurance company immediately after an accident. If you fail to do so in the time allotted, then your insurance may not cover you.

What should I do if I'm being sued?

It's scary to hear you're being sued. Here are some steps to take to help take the burden off your shoulders.

Contact your insurance agency

Once you know you're going to court, notify your insurance company. Your agency has your back and provides you with the resources you need to navigate this time.

Respond to paperwork

The other party sends a summons to notify you of the lawsuit and when you need to appear in court. You have a set amount of time to respond to this. You also want to send your insurance company a copy of the summons and any other paperwork you receive regarding the lawsuit.

Consult with an attorney

Your insurance company may provide you with legal representation. However, you may feel more comfortable opting for a lawyer you've used in the past. Many attorneys offer free consultations, so you can get free legal advice about how to proceed and what to say.

When the time arises, is my insurance going to be enough?

When it comes to car insurance, there are several factors to consider beyond monthly cost. A policy that covers you when you need it, has a low deductible, and offers several discounts can be hard to find - which is why we've done the work for you.

Get instant quotes tailored to your needs - fill out our short form, today!

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