If you’ve been in a car accident recently, it’s natural to feel confused and overwhelmed. You might be desperate to get back on the road as quickly as possible, but dealing with insurance companies can be stressful, even for those with the best intentions. In most states, any driver must carry a certain level of liability automobile insurance coverage. This means that if you cause an accident and injure or damage another person or their property, your insurance company will pay to repair or replace their vehicle and compensate them for any medical bills they incur as a result of your negligence.
However, not all accidents require you to hire a defense lawyer. In some situations, you may be able to deal directly with the other party’s insurance company and have little need for legal representation. Read on to learn more about when you may need a defense lawyer for car accidents.
Car accident basics
Before we go any further, let’s review the basics of car accidents. In broad terms, there are two kinds of car accidents: An “automobile accident” is the broader category of events that may cause damage to a vehicle or cause injury to the occupants of the vehicle. A “fault car accident” occurs when a driver’s negligence causes an automobile accident.
In other words, the accident was the result of the driver’s lapse in attention or skill. A “strict liability car accident” occurs when you cause an automobile accident but you exercise reasonable care and skill in doing so. Strict liability car accidents are typically caused by a “minor fault” on your part. For example, you may collide with another vehicle because you failed to notice that they had stopped or that they had signaled to make a turn.
If the other driver was either committing a criminal act or endangering their passengers or other drivers, you may have a legitimate defense against any injury claims. For example, if someone tries to run you off the road, or attempts to force you to stop by driving into your back bumper, you have the right to defend yourself and your passengers with physical force. If you’re in danger of being injured or killed, you have the right to use reasonable force to protect yourself and others.
If you were involved in a car accident and you were at fault, the other driver may file a claim against your insurance company and attempt to recover any medical expenses and lost wages you incurred as a result of your negligence. If you don’t have insurance or don’t have enough coverage to cover the claim, the other driver may try to hold you personally liable for the damages.
You can defend yourself against a negligence claim with the simple fact that you were driving as carefully as possible. In most cases, all you need to do is provide the other driver with a brief written statement asserting that you were as careful as possible under the circumstances.
If you sustain an injury in a car accident, the driver who caused the accident may be fully responsible for your medical bills and any lost wages you incur as a result of your injuries. However, if you were not in the vehicle when the accident occurred, the other driver’s insurance company may attempt to hold you liable for the damage to the first vehicle. In this case, you have the right to defend yourself by proving that you had no control over the accident, and therefore, you should not be held responsible for the damage.
When you need a car accident defense lawyer,
If the accident was your fault, but you were careful, you’re probably able to defend yourself against a liability claim without the help of a lawyer. However, if you are the victim of another driver’s negligence, you will likely need a car accident defense lawyer by your side.
If the other driver was clearly driving carelessly and endangering you and other drivers on the road, your best course of action would be to hire a defense lawyer as soon as possible. If you don’t have a defense lawyer by your side, the other driver’s insurance company may try to hold you responsible for the entire claim by denying your right to compensation.
An automobile accident can be a stressful and difficult experience, especially if the other driver is partially or fully responsible. In order to protect yourself, it is important to know when you need to hire a defense lawyer. If you’ve been in an accident, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible.