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Personal injury lawsuits arising from automobile accidents is a big business. Use the suggestions below to determine whether legal representation from your insurance company is sufficient if you’re being sued for injuries arising from an auto accident.
Contact your automobile insurance company to let them know you’ve been served papers indicating you’re being sued for personal injuries from an automobile accident. Ask whether there is a particular person who will be your contact at the insurance company for the lawsuit and try to obtain an email and telephone number for that person.
Start a folder and keep your own records of the proceedings. This includes any paperwork you have from the accident such as police report and insurance company statements and bills describing property damage.
Read your insurance policy coverage at the time of the accident or check with your insurer to find out how much liability coverage you had. Liability coverage descriptions will inform you of how much auto insurance coverage you had for property damage to other people’s property as well as how much coverage you had for injury to another person as well as total personal injury coverage you have for others’ injuries stemming from a particular accident.
Read the complaint and see how much money the other person is seeking from you in their lawsuit in addition to what injuries are being claimed. While you are not a doctor if you know that an accident was not that serious, you have a police report indicating that everyone walked away or that very little property damage was involved, chances are that the attorney assistance you will receive from your insurance company will be sufficient.
If the accident was a serious one and you were held responsible in some way for the accident according to the police report or if you failed to get a police report, you must consider hiring an attorney apart from any assistance you may get from your insurance company. If you failed to notify your insurer of the accident at the time for any reason you will likely have to consult with an attorney whose fees you will have to pay.
Price out attorney fees if you hire your own lawyer. Lawyers defending you in a personal injury case will charge you a fee, an hourly rate plus court time or a flat retainer subject to additional fees. Contingency fees where lawyers only get paid after a lawsuit do not apply when you’re the one being sued for personal injuries.
Stay on top of proceedings to determine whether you believe outside counsel would be helpful for your situation. Ask for copies of papers as they are produced in your lawsuit and maintain periodic contact with the auto insurance company’s attorneys or legal department.
Being sued for personal injuries after an automobile accident can be stressful and expose you to financial risk. Use the suggestions above when you consider hiring an attorney separate from your auto insurance company’s legal counsel to defend you when you’re sued.