Not all car accidents are simple. If you've been involved in a wreck and it appears you may have been at fault, the question of who represents you in court is another thing that's far from simple. To find out more, read on.
Fault is a Key Consideration
When it comes to car accidents, the at-fault party may be liable for thousands of dollars in damages to the victim. If you are being accused of causing the wreck, it's understandable that your insurer will fight to ensure that not only is fault certain but that all of the victim's alleged damages are valid. In most cases, you are required to provide your insurer with a statement about the accident and to answer some questions in a recorded phone interview. If both sides claim the other caused the wreck, your insurer will conduct a short investigation in an effort to determine fault. If it appears the other driver was not at fault, a settlement will be offered to the other driver. In most cases, you don't need to take any action (at this point) except cooperating with your insurer.
If You Are Sued
You might get free legal representation from your insurer but that is not a given. For many, the insurer has what is called a "duty to defend" their clients against lawsuits stemming from auto accidents. That means that the insurer will see to it that you have legal representation when preparing your case for trial and during the trial.
When Legal Help Fails
As with everything, there are exceptions and this one applies to cases where the accident damages exceed the limits of your policy. If the other driver sues you claiming losses of $500,000 for example, but your policy only pays for losses up to $250,000 you might be personally on the hook for the remainder of the judgment. In most cases, accident victims agree to accept what the insurer will pay but not always. If the following occurs, it will be up to you to seek your own legal representation and defend your case.
If any of the above applies to you, speak to a car accident attorney as soon as you can. Too much is at risk and you need to protect your personal assets like your home, your wages, and your savings.
To learn more about car accident legal cases, you can visit websites like chicagoaccidentattorney.net.
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