What Happens If You Lose A Car Accident Lawsuit?

Updated October, 2020
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The losing party to any car accident lawsuit must comply with any orders handed down by the court. This often takes the form of monetary compensation toward the other party. But in the absence of sufficient cash, the court may require the garnishment of personal property.

How is fault determined after an accident?

After a car accident, it's the responsibility of all parties involved to contact their insurance providers. At that point, the insurance company assigns someone to review the case. This is typically where fault is determined.

Evidence for this process includes:

  • Photos taken by either driver
  • Video camera footage
  • Testimony of drivers, passengers, and onlookers

After accumulating everything, the insurer assigns blame. It's possible for one driver to be entirely at-fault or for each driver to share a percentage of the blame.

What should I do if I'm being sued for a car accident?

If you're found to be predominantly at-fault for a collision, then you may face a lawsuit. All drivers involved should try to work with their insurance providers to compensate accordingly.

However, some people may feel like they're owed more. They may file a lawsuit against you at this point, which complicates matters greatly. Here are the steps to take if you find yourself in the midst of a car accident lawsuit.

  1. Contact your insurance provider - You need to get in touch with your insurance agency. Provide them with a copy of the lawsuit.
  1. Call an attorney - You need someone to defend you in and out of court. Many lawyers offer free consultations, so you can get a sense of their abilities before hiring them.
  1. Try to settle - It's always easier if you and the other driver can reach an agreement outside of the courtroom. Your attorney and insurance company can come together to present some kind of settlement to try to appease the other driver.

Can the case go to trial?

Even if you try to settle, there's no guarantee the driver wants that offer. Various reasons may be the case.

  • Disagreement over who's primarily at-fault
  • Insurance company doesn't offer sufficient compensation
  • Additional factors require compensation, such as lost wages or pain and suffering

The good news is that it's rare for car accident cases to go to trial. It's the last thing anyone wants, so insurance companies work to provide adequate compensation.

What happens if I lose the case?

Losing the case means you're responsible for compensating the other driver. Auto insurance helps cover some or all of the costs to the other driver. But without the right plan, you're on the hook.

  • Payments made out-of-pocket
  • Garnishment of future wages and personal property
  • Liens against any future property you may hold

People's lives can be devastated from losing a car accident lawsuit. It's what makes it worthwhile to be a safe driver and avoid your chances of contributing to a crash.

Can my insurance protect me from being sued?

Auto insurance can't protect you from being sued. But it can cover much of the legal expenses.

Liability coverage compensates you for legal expenses, such as attorney fees and money you have to payout.

Liability coverage for accidents tends to have limits between $50,000 and $300,000. You decide how much you want, knowing that a higher amount gives you more protection in the event of a lawsuit.

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.

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