Every so often, I get a call from a client who caused a car accident. They are worried about a claim possibly being made against them, and worse, having to defend themselves in a potential lawsuit. They ask, "Do I have to hire a lawyer to defend me?" It's often surprising to me how many folks don't realize that a benefit of having automobile insurance is the insurance company will handle the claim for you. That's why you are paying premiums. Report the accident to your insurance company and let them deal with the claim. If the incident was very minor, you might be able to handle things yourself, but in most cases, you are are better off tendering the matter to your insurance company. If you are sued, they will provide you with an attorney to defend you in most cases...however you should take comfort in knowing that most cases are settled without going to court.
Keep in mind, you should make sure you have adequate insurance. If you have a good job and income, and/or some assets, don't get the minimal insurance policy required by law. If you cause significant injury to someone, their attorney is not going to be happy with your tiny car insurance policy. They are going to take that policy and go after you for the rest. Therefore, if you have adequate insurance, your insurance company will handle the claim for you and provide you with an attorney to defend you just in case. The reason you want adequate liability insurance is to encourage a claimant to take your insurance policy without coming after you for the rest. If you want to learn more about this subject, feel free to call my office to discuss.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic and surrounding communities.