1st July 2023
In most car accident cases, the victim of an injury will sue the at-fault driver’s insurance company – not the person. You might have to pay higher insurance rates, or there’s a chance the insurer could cancel your policy. But in most instances, you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket. However, someone can sue you for a car accident if they believe you were at fault and caused them harm or property damage.
If you’re facing legal action from a driver who claims you’re to blame for the wreck, the lawyers with Sand Law are standing by to help. We’ll investigate how the accident occurred and protect your rights at every turn. Schedule a free review of your case by contacting us online or calling 701-609-1510.
Determining Liability for a Car Accident
Investigators typically determine who was “liable” or caused the accident based on the evidence. They can collect that evidence from the accident scene, obtain witness statements and police reports, and gather other relevant information. Depending on the circumstances, one or multiple parties involved in the accident can face liability.
North Dakota Fault Laws
North Dakota follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule when determining liability in car accidents. If you’re found to be partially at fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. However, if you’re found to be 50% or more at fault, you might not be eligible for compensation.
Will a Lawsuit Against My Insurance Affect Me?
As stated earlier, if someone sues your insurance company for a car accident, it generally doesn’t directly affect you as the insured person. Your insurance company is responsible for defending the lawsuit and paying any damages awarded up to the policy limits. However, it’s essential to remember that repeated claims and lawsuits against your insurance policy may result in increased premiums or even non-renewal of your policy in the future.
Holding Someone Personally Responsible
In some cases, an injured party may sue you personally instead of (or in addition to) suing your insurance company. This typically happens when the damages exceed the insurance policy limits or the injured party believes you have significant personal assets that could cover the compensation they seek. Holding someone personally responsible means seeking compensation directly from your personal assets, such as your savings or property.
When Can I Be Sued for a Car Accident?
You can be sued for a car accident if you were involved in a collision and the other party believes you were at fault. But the other driver has to take legal action within a specific timeframe. This deadline, known as the statute of limitations, varies among states. The statute of limitations in North Dakota is six years from the accident date.
What Should I Do if I’m Sued?
If the other driver sues you, take the matter seriously. Hire an experienced car accident attorney to guide you through the legal process and represent your interests.
Please do this as soon as possible so they can investigate. You’re going to need proof that you weren’t to blame. The faster you hire a lawyer, the earlier that investigation can begin. Acting quickly will give your attorney the best chance of gathering critical evidence before it disappears.
If you don’t have insurance, hiring an attorney will be a must. It will be your only realistic chance to protect your property and bank account.
If you’re covered, your insurance company will likely assign an attorney to defend you. Check your policy to see if the insurer is obligated to do so. But you can still benefit from having your own lawyer in several ways. Here are just a few to keep in mind.
Independent Legal Advice
The attorney provided by your insurance company represents both you and the insurance company. But since the insurance company pays them, their first priority will be working in the insurer’s best interests. By hiring your own attorney, you can have someone solely focused on protecting your rights and advocating for your best interests.
Conflict of Interest
There may be situations where your interests and the insurance company’s interests diverge. For example, if the damages claimed exceed your policy limits, the insurance company’s goal may be to limit their financial exposure. They’ll do this even if it means leaving you responsible for paying the other driver for whatever damages remain. An independent attorney will work to help you avoid paying out of pocket.
Expertise and Experience
Personal injury attorneys specialize in handling car accident cases and have extensive experience navigating the legal system. They deeply understand the laws and regulations specific to North Dakota. They can also provide expert advice and guidance tailored to your situation. They can also accurately assess the value of your claim and help maximize your potential recovery.
Can I Still Recover My Damages?
If the other driver sues you and the investigator finds you partially or fully at fault, that could affect your ability to recover damages. In North Dakota’s modified comparative negligence system, the court may reduce your compensation based on your assigned percentage of fault.
For example, suppose your accident-related losses, or damages, total $100,000. An investigation shows you were 40% to blame for the wreck. Instead of receiving $100,000, you’ll receive $60,000 after the 40% ($40,000) is taken out. As stated before, however, if you’re 50% or more at fault, you may not be able to obtain any compensation for your damages.
It’s essential to speak with an attorney who can assess your situation and advise you on the potential outcomes and options for recovery.
Contact Sand Law to Speak with a Car Accident Attorney
If you need legal assistance with a car accident lawsuit, get in touch with a skilled attorney who will fight to protect your rights. Sand Law has a long track record of success in personal injury cases, including car accidents. They can provide you with expert guidance and representation throughout the legal process.
Schedule a consultation with Sand Law to discuss the details of your case. An attorney will evaluate the accident’s circumstances, assess liability, review insurance coverage, and help determine the best course of action. Call 701-609-1510 or use our online form for a free case review.