(US laws and general advice) A vehicle accident can be a frightening experience for everyone involved, especially if there are injuries or damage to property. Unfortunately, for some drivers, the experience can go from frightening to downright scary should they then be sued after the accident. The fact is, if you’ve been accused of causing a vehicle accident, you may find yourself facing a lawsuit, and maybe even years of financial hardship and uncertainty.
What Happens After an Accident
In most cases, any drivers involved in an accident will exchange insurance information, speak with the authorities at the scene and seek medical assistance if needed. From there, the insurance companies of any drivers involved will take care of any financial dealings, meaning the process ends there for the drivers. However, some drivers soon receive a letter explaining that they are being summoned to court to defend themselves – they’re being sued!
Why a Lawsuit?
The lawyers at www.houston-accidentattorney.com explain that drivers involved in vehicle accidents can be sued for a variety of reasons, but the most common are negligence, recklessness or improper insurance coverage. Even if the police are unable to determine who was at fault, or even if both drivers are deemed at fault, one driver can still sue another. The claim may be that one driver caused the accident due to not paying attention, or it might be that a driver was driving over the speed limit when the accident occurred. Regardless of the cause, the driver who is being sued is at risk of having to potentially pay out tens of thousands of dollars or more if found guilty in court, and the driver’s insurance premiums may become unrealistically high.
In cases where injuries have taken place in an accident, you may be sued not just for physical pain, but also for mental and emotional anguish. Studies have shown that vehicle accidents can lead to a variety of psychological problems, including depression and anxiety. Because it’s very difficult to determine the exact effects these problems can cause, lawsuits involving such conditions can involve hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions. These damages are sought not just for the psychological impact on the injured driver, but also for potential problems these conditions might cause in the future, including lost wages and difficulty in relationships.
What to Do if You’ve Been Sued
If you’ve been hit with a lawsuit as the result of a vehicle accident, the best thing you can do for yourself and your future is to partner with an attorney. While you always have the right to defend yourself in court, unless you have experience in the legal field, doing so may be an arduous task at best. Instead, when you partner with an attorney, you have the benefit of experienced representation and the backing of a legal expert upon whom you can rely for information and defense strategies.
Finally, if you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s important that you don’t admit fault if you’re unsure. Many times, drivers involved in accidents will experience disorientation immediately following the crash, and this can lead to them making statements that aren’t true. Instead, try your best to cooperate with law enforcement, but don’t allow yourself to be intimidated into admitting guilt if you’re unsure of the situation.
Georgina Clatworthy is a legal writer and previous editor for a respected legal blog. She is now a contributing writer for www.houston-accidentattorney.com who will help accident victims in Houston connect with the right accident lawyer to represent them. They understand the importance of finding an attorney with whom you will feel comfortable and moreover, who will work with your best interests at heart.