Can Someone Sue You for a Car Accident if You Have Insurance?

April 26, 2024

Car insurance is not just a legal formality but an important component of every car owner’s safety: around 1.19 million people die each year as a result of road traffic accidents, with another 20-50 million sustaining non-fatal injuries.

And while the right car insurance makes you feel safe behind the wheel, it’s quite complex to navigate, even for experienced car owners. There is tons of knowledge to acquire and legal pitfalls to avoid before you can be sure you’ve gotten the best policy you could get.

Here are the two burning questions we’re going to elaborate on today:

  • Can someone sue you for a car accident if you have insurance?
  • Can an insurance company sue you for an accident?

Read on to learn everything you should know about insurance claims and lawsuits.

Many people believe that having insurance automatically protects them from a lawsuit. However, this is a misconception. In reality, insurance may not fully cover losses or resolve all disputes related to car accidents.

Lawsuits can arise in situations like:

  • When the at-fault driver is uninsured. This is one of the most common situations: in the event of an accident, the injured party has no choice but to sue the at-fault driver to recover expenses, even if they might’ve chosen otherwise were money not at stake.
  • When insurance does not cover the damage. Since the average bodily injury claim is $75904,90, insurance coverage may not provide sufficient protection (if the damage exceeds your policy’s limit). In such cases, the injured party may sue to recover the remaining amount.
  • When the insurance claim process is prolonged. Each state has its own deadline for insurance claim payments. If the process is delayed, the injured party may file a lawsuit to expedite it. Some drivers file lawsuits as a preemptive measure, anticipating delays in the process.

Even if you settle a dispute out of court, the injured party may sue for additional damages, especially if the agreement was reached involuntarily or fraudulently.

Filling out an insurance claim form after a car accident

What Needs To Be Proven To File a Damage Claim

To hold the at-fault party responsible for repairing or replacing your vehicle, you need to prove:

  • The driver’s involvement in the accident. You can use witness statements, photos, videos, police reports, and expert opinions. Presenting compelling evidence of the other driver’s fault will affect the outcome of the legal proceedings and compensation for damages.
  • Causation. Your claim must be based on convincing the court that the damage to your vehicle or property was a direct result of the other driver’s actions. You can provide expert or medical opinions or an appraisal report to prove this.
  • Damage to your property. Proof of damage is important to confirm the losses you incurred due to the car accident. You can use appraisal reports for the cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle, repair bills, and documentation of other expenses related to the accident.

When filing a lawsuit, comply with all deadlines and procedural requirements. Each state may have its own filing procedures, so familiarize yourself with them.

Filing an auto damage claim

A car accident attorney can help you collect and preserve evidence supporting your claim and negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.

What To Do if Someone Sues You for a Car Accident

First of all, don’t panic.

Follow the key steps below to protect your interests:

Step 1: Review the Lawsuit Thoroughly examine the lawsuit. Pay attention to all the demands made by the injured party, as well as the evidence they provide. This will help you understand the essence of the claim and prepare your defense.
Step 2: Contact Your Insurance Company Immediately inform your insurance company about the lawsuit filed against you. They usually provide legal support and help defend your interests in court. Provide them with all the necessary information about the incident.
Step 3: Consult With a Lawyer Consider seeking legal assistance. An attorney specializing in car accident cases can provide you with professional advice and help develop a defense strategy.
Step 4: Gather Evidence Prepare all the evidence that will support your arguments in court. This may include photos from the accident scene, witness statements, dashcam footage, medical records, and other documents.
Step 5: Prepare for the Legal Process Attend all court hearings and comply with deadlines for providing necessary documents and information. Prepare to testify and answer questions from the judge and opposing attorneys.
Step 6: Consider Mediation Mediation may be an option in certain situations, allowing parties to attempt to reach a compromise without resorting to court. If possible, consider this as an alternative to litigation.

I Am Being Sued for a Car Accident: How Can I Avoid Such Situations?

You can prevent car accident lawsuits from being filed against you by not violating traffic rules in the first place. However, there is more specific advice ­– read on to learn what happens when someone sues you for a car accident and what you can do in that unfortunate case.

Drive Safely

Failure to comply with traffic rules is one of the most common causes of accidents. For example, speeding accounts for more than a quarter of deaths in car accidents. Other common violations inlude using a mobile phone while driving, crossing into oncoming traffic, and more.

To avoid trouble related to accidents, be attentive behind the wheel, follow the rules, and treat other drivers and pedestrians with respect.

Monitor the Condition of Your Vehicle

Sudden vehicle breakdowns are also among the common causes of accidents, so make sure to regularly check the technical condition of your car, especially before hitting the road. Speaking of which, constantly monitoring the condition of your car will save you money on repairs.

Keep the Distance and Assess Risks

Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and other vehicles. Assess all possible risks and situations that may lead to accidents. Even if you obey traffic rules and drive carefully, there is still a chance of accidents caused by another road user’s fault.

Choose Insurance With Good Coverage

Even if you are involved in an accident, good insurance will protect you financially. Therefore, when choosing an insurance policy for your vehicle, carefully study the policy’s terms and limits to be confident in the adequacy of your coverage.

Flipping through insurance papers

Following these recommendations will help reduce the risk of being involved in an accident and avoid situations related to lawsuits. Focus on road safety and take all precautions to protect yourself and other drivers.

Overall, though, insurance claims and lawsuits are complex topics that require careful study and preparation. They cover many nuances, from insurance rules and liabilities to legal proceedings and regulations, and often require expert help.

All Your Answers In One Place

Here are the quick answers to the most common questions about auto insurance, claims, and settlement:

Can you sue someone after settling with their insurance? More often than not, after the case is settled, you sign a release form that prevents you from further legal action.
Can I sue someone for damaging my car? Yes, you can file a claim for damages against the at-fault driver if the insurance is not enough to cover the financial losses, the driver is uninsured, or there’s a dispute regarding who is at fault for the accident.
Can you sue in a no-fault state? You can sue in a no-fault state, but the rules will differ. For example, specific thresholds must be met before you can initiate a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
What do I do if the insurance company sues me for damages? If the insurer sues you for damages, take the matter seriously in the first place. Review the claim, contact your insurer, communicate carefully, and prepare your defense rigorously.
Can I sue the driver who totaled my car? Yes, you can sue the driver who totaled your car as long as it was established the driver was at fault for the accident.
Can I sue my insurance company if I was not at fault? You can sue your insurance company if your claim has been wrongfully denied or addressed incorrectly.
What happens if someone sues you after a car accident? First, you will be formally notified of the lawsuit. Then you should immediately contact your insurance company for further action.
Can you sue someone for hitting your parked car? Yes, you can sue a driver for hitting your parked car. Document the damage, report the police, and contact your insurance company.

Get Your Auto Insurance Quote at CoverExplore

Getting your personalized auto insurance quote has never been quicker and easier, and you can do it online at CoverExplore in just a few minutes.

Here are your three steps to get a personalized auto insurance quote:

  1. Navigate to the free auto insurance quote page
  2. Answer insurance-related questions to allow us to choose the best auto insurance provider and policy for you
  3. Get your tailored auto insurance the same day

For questions, contact us at contact@coverexplore.com or call 888-432-7716.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can someone sue you after insurance pays?

Yes, in some cases, a person can sue you after the insurance company pays compensation. However, this depends on many factors, including the terms of the insurance policy and the legislation of your state.

How much can you sue for property damage?

The amount you can sue for property damage depends on factors like the extent of the damage, the cost of repair or replacement of the vehicle, etc. You have the right to demand compensation for actual losses and expenses related to the repair or replacement of the vehicle.

Victoria Berezhetska

Victoria Berezhetska is a Content Lead at Phonexa.com and an expert contributor to CoverExplore. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with extensive working experience as a PR specialist and content writer. At CoverExplore, she helps customers find the right educational material through easily digestible blog posts and buying guides backing their insurance coverage choice. Victoria covers diverse topics around digital and insurance marketing, including auto, home, health, and life insurance.

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