It’s common for your personal injury law firm to employ a lawyer to represent you in court if you’ve been blamed for causing a car wreck, but there are certain exceptions.
If you caused the accident, your insurance company has a “responsibility to defend,” which includes hiring a lawyer to represent you in any litigation arising from the collision.
For example, if you didn’t notify your insurance company of the accident, or if the accident was caused by your deliberate actions, you may not be entitled to a lawyer to represent you in a vehicle accident case against you.
There will be no help from your insurance company in the event of a personal injury or property damage claim against the other motorist; you will have to employ a car accident lawyer on your own.
Automobile Insurance Policies And The “Duty To Defend”
Vehicle insurance plans usually include wording saying that the insurer will provide a lawyer for the policyholder if the policyholder is sued for damages stemming from a car accident. “responsibility to defend” is an obligation that comes from all liability insurance plans, regardless of the kind of coverage. As a result, customers purchase liability insurance to ensure that they are not financially responsible for any accidents that occur on their property, their small company, or their automobile (auto insurance).
Legal Representation From Your Insurance Company Is Not Always Guaranteed
Duty to defend is a legal “rule” that has exceptions, much as many other legal “rules”. If you’ve been involved in an automobile accident, here are several scenarios in which your car insurance company may not be compelled to defend you.
An Accident/Claim, But You Didn’t Notify The Insurance Company
No defence is owed if the insured policyholder fails to notify his or her insurer of an accident within the time constraints provided in their policy. Even if the insurance company’s capacity to investigate the accident and/or mitigate its losses has been endangered by the delay, this is particularly true.
If an accident occurs that potentially leads to a claim or coverage, you must inform the insurer as specified in your policy. This time frame may be as short as five or ten days. Your insurer can deny coverage for an accident if you fail to notify them of the incident within the specified time limit and do not offer a reasonable explanation for your absence. They may also refuse to provide you with legal representation if you are sued as a result of the accident.
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Deliberate Act Of A Car Accident
If the policyholder is found guilty of causing the accident on purpose, their insurance may be cancelled (and therefore nullify the duty to defend).
In most cases, car insurance plans only cover accidents that are the result of carelessness, not malicious intent. If the insured is falsely accused of causing the vehicle accident, the insurer may refuse to pay for damages and refuse to provide the insured with a lawyer to represent him in any litigation arising from the incident.
In The Event Of A Car Accident Lawsuit, What Happens To Me?
After a vehicle accident, the other motorist (and sometimes even your own insurance company) may sue you if they believe you were to blame. As long as your insurance company doesn’t supply a lawyer to represent you in court, you’ll be responsible for whatever money the other motorist wins in court.
Assistance When Your Insurance Company Isn’t There To Protect Your Interests
Even if your insurance company denies coverage or refuses to give you a lawyer after a vehicle accident that seems to be your fault, having your lawyer engaged may lead them to quickly rethink their attitude.
For example, the lawyer may find a problem with your accident that has gone unnoticed and may provide a tactic you hadn’t previously considered. The insurance company could at least alter its stance and determine that defending the case against you rather than attacking you and your lawyer makes more commercial sense.