What Happens If You Cause A Car Accident?
Given the amount of time we spend in our cars, all of us likely will be involved in a car accident at some point. Sometimes it is the other driver who is responsible. But what if you are the one responsible for causing the accident? Knowing what comes next is important if you find yourself in this position. Here are some things to be aware of:
Report the Accident
You should immediately contact your auto insurance company to report the accident. If you were cited as being at-fault for the accident, you will receive a citation from the responding police officer. You can pay the fine, or you have the right to appeal the citation. That will trigger a court date. It is essential that you attend this hearing, as a police officer will likely attend the hearing too.
Complete A Crash Report
You also by law must fill out and complete a Motor Vehicle Crash Operator report within five days of the car accident if there is more than $ 500 in property damage to any vehicle involved in the accident, or if someone sustained personal injuries in the crash. This form needs to be submitted to the local police department, the Registry of Motor Vehicles, as well as with your car insurance company.
Claims and Lawsuit Process
If anyone (including passengers in your car) sustained any injuries, such a back or neck strain/sprain, broken bones, herniated discs, or any other kind of injury, he/she will likely file a claim with your auto insurance company. Your insurance company will investigate the accident, and evaluate the claim presented. If liability and damages are clear, they will offer the injured party a settlement. If the injured party does not agree to the offer, a lawsuit may then be filed against you. Your insurance carrier will pay the costs of defending the lawsuit, as well as paying any court judgement that may result.
Buy Enough Insurance
It is really important to purchase enough car insurance on your vehicle. Be sure to purchase as much liability insurance as you can afford. This way, you are protected (and your assets) in the event you cause a significant car accident.
Contact A Local Car Accident Lawyer
In the event you are involved in a car accident, reach out to us as we would be happy to assist you with your case. It is never a good idea to face legal issues alone. Let us help you with your motor vehicle accident case.