A car accident is an unexpected experience, and can be extremely emotionally draining on all parties involved. In the event you were involved in a car accident because of a DUI, you could be facing a court appearance or jail time for your decision to drive under the influence.
In many cases, if other parties were injured in the accident, you may also be facing a lawsuit. If being sued for driving under the influence, you may be wondering what you need to do next. For most people, this is unchartered territory and is an incredibly complicated process. Knowing what to expect in the coming days and months can help you resolve the issue as best as possible.
Are You Being Sued?
For those unfamiliar with the law, it can be confusing to decipher all of the jargon being used. However, if you are being sued, you should be served with a formal lawsuit complaint. Typically a police officer or some other court official will give you your summons to appear in court.
If you have been served with a lawsuit summons, it is important you let your insurance company as soon as possible. In some cases, your insurance company will step up to defend you if the lawsuit is suing you for reasons that your car insurance policy covers. Most insurance companies will hire San Diego DUI attorneys, or DUI attorneys local to your area, to represent you well throughout the lawsuit.
However, in some instances, your insurance company may not defend you, especially if the situation falls out of the lines of coverage from your insurance policy.
Because insurance companies only cover an injury lawsuit if the accident is covered by the insurance policy, it is a smart move to hire a personal attorney if you were charged with a DUI. If you are being sued, it is important that you act quickly and respond to the lawsuit as soon as possible. One of the best ways to ensure you are doing everything correctly is to hire a good lawyer. DUI attorneys are well educated and experienced in these areas and can provide you with the stable foundation you need to settle the lawsuit amicably.
If You Don’t Have Insurance
While most areas require drivers to have insurance, or at least liability insurance, if for some reason you are not insured and are involved in a DUI car accident, hire a lawyer immediately. Not only do you need someone capable to represent you in court, you also need their expertise to file the right paperwork and prepare you for your court appearance. The court charges extreme penalties if there is any late or missing paperwork.
How Long Is the Process?
The lawsuit process can be a lengthy one, especially if the lawsuit was filed a couple years after the fact, as in some states, people can sue up to five years after the accident. While some lawsuits are over within a few weeks, it could take as long as years, depending upon the severity of the situation, the age of the accident, and other factors regarding the circumstances of the accident. When going through the process, your lawyer should be able to give you a timeframe.
Most car accident lawsuits are resolved by settlements that do not require you to go to trial. But, if the opposing party does not want to accept a settlement, or if the insurance company does not want to settle (your company or their company), you could be facing a trial.
Am I at Fault?
While it is illegal to drive under the influence, in some instances, the cause of the accident may not have been your fault. There are many factors to consider, including the other drivers involved. While you may be given a DUI for being over the legal limit, if someone else caused the accident, you are not at fault.
If you are faced with an injury lawsuit, these tips can help you defend yourself and resolve the issue as soon as possible.
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