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There’s no doubt that a serious car accident is easily one of the worst incidents that could happen to you. Not only do you have to contend with insurance, assess fault, interact with the other driver(s), and talk to the police, but you need to do all of that while recuperating from your own injuries!
If you were the one at fault, then you may be asking the question, “can someone sue you for a car accident if you have insurance?” This is an important answer to know. After all, a significant enough lawsuit can totally bankrupt you if not dealt with.
In this article, we’ll provide you with that answer.
The answer to this question is not straightforward. It is complicated and will depend on your individual state’s laws. Be sure to consult your state’s laws for further clarification.
However, there is a general answer. In short, if the damage that you caused exceeds the policy limits of your insurance plan, or if you were committing a crime while you were driving, then yes, the other party can sue you for damages.
Consider this scenario. You rear-end a car at a stoplight driving at a very low speed. The car’s bumper needs to be replaced and the other driver’s neck hurts.
The other driver goes to the hospital and gets their neck checked out, but there’s no significant damage and they’re just told that they’ll be fine again in a couple of days. The hospital bill is $1,000, and they get their bumper replaced for $2,000.
Now this cost will typically fall well under the minimum coverage requirements in most states. Thus, the other party will not be able to sue for additional damages since your insurance company will cover it.
However, now consider this scenario. You hit a car head-on. The other vehicle, which is an expensive Mercedes worth $70,000, is totaled. There were two passengers in the car, both of whom experience significant injuries that require surgery to fix. The hospital bill was $200,000 for both of them. Your policy limits, however, were $15,000 for vehicle damage and $50,000 for medical expenses.
Your insurance only pays out that amount of money. You are now on the hook for the rest of the expenses, and the other party can decide to sue in order to recover that money.
The best way to avoid this situation from ever happening is to choose higher policy limits when you purchase an insurance plan. The cost of higher limits often isn’t significant, especially in comparison with how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket if you don’t have those higher limits in place.
Find the Right Car Insurance
Now that you know the answer to the question, “can someone sue you for a car accident if you have insurance”, you know that you need to purchase the highest policy limits that you can afford.
To find auto insurance plans with high limits and affordable premiums, be sure to use our online tool!