The sheriff shows up at your door with some papers for you, and you’re served. About a year ago you struck a bicyclist and you have to call your insurance agent and you tell him, “I m getting sued for a car accident.” You’ve done the right thing by contacting your agent. Your insurer will retain a defense attorney for you at no cost to you, but until you hear from that attorney, follow these suggestions.
You’re under no obligation to talk to either the person who sued you or their attorney without your own attorney being present. You might inadvertently damage your case or admit guilt. You have the right to an attorney and your insurer will have one for you. You also have the option of getting your own attorney. Only talk with your insurer or your attorney.
This is another instance when you have the right to an attorney being present. A written, signed or a recorded statement can be used against you in the future. Never give a statement without an attorney being present on your behalf.
Never throw anything out in connection with the accident. Photos, police reports, repair bills or other evidence should be preserved and stored in safekeeping. You can turn these items over to your attorney, and your attorney will know what to do with them.
Your defense attorney is trying to protect both your rights and the rights of your insurer. You have a cooperation clause in your insurance policy. If you fail to cooperate with your insurer, it can legally walk away from your defense, which can hurt your case.
Leave the compensation issue to your insurer. To protect both your rights and its rights, it will get a proper release of claims and dismissal of the lawsuit against you before it pays any money.
Follow these suggestions when you ask yourself, “I’m getting sued, what do I do?” You’ll protect both your rights and your insurance company’s rights too.
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