What Happens if the Other Driver Files a Counterclaim in Your Charlotte Car Accident Case?

car accident

If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, you know that nobody ever wants to admit that they caused the crash. Everybody points the finger at the other driver. Even if the other driver knows they caused the accident, they aren’t foolish enough to admit fault. Instead, they say you were responsible. Or, they say that you both were in the wrong. So, you can imagine what happens when the matter can’t be resolved through the insurance companies.

If you need to hire a Charlotte car accident lawyer to handle your car accident claim, there’s a good chance you’ll need to file legal action. If the insurance company was going to pay your claim, they probably would’ve done it already. If they have a good enough reason to deny your claim, they’ll have a good enough reason to defend a lawsuit.

Your Charlotte accident attorney understands this. They’ve been dealing with insurance adjustors for years. And, while there are times when an insurance adjustor is just playing hardball, sometimes they truly think their client is innocent. These are the cases that can be hard to settle. That’s why these are the cases where your best bet is to hire an experienced car accident lawyer. They’ll find out what the insurance company’s intentions are. And, if need be, they’ll file a lawsuit on your behalf.

Of Course, It’s Probably in Your Best Interest to Settle

Any car accident lawyer will tell you that it’s a good idea to try to settle your case. More than 95% of all personal injury lawsuits do settle long before trial. Nobody really wants to go to trial. Trials are expensive and time consuming. The longer your case drags on, the more you’re going to have to pay your attorney. And, while attorneys are in the business to make money, their main concern is your best interest. They want to get you as much money as possible, as quickly as possible.

Rather than worry about your case dragging on for years, your attorney will try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company and the other driver’s attorney. They’ll make sure that any settlement covers your out of pocket expenses. Some of the damages they’ll fight to get paid include:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical bills
  • Lost wages and lost future income
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

If they’re unable to settle your case, they’ll have no choice but to file a lawsuit on your behalf.

The Other Driver May Claim You Were at Fault

Just because you truly believe the other driver was at fault, that’s not necessarily what the court will believe. Your attorney is going to try to prove that the other driver caused the accident. However, the defendant’s lawyer is going to argue that you were at fault. When you file your car accident lawsuit in Charlotte, the defendant may file something called a counterclaim.

With a counterclaim, the defendant’s lawyer is saying that, not only is there client innocent, but that you owe them damages. Sometimes this is a tactic used by defense attorneys to force you to settle. Other times, the defense lawyer truly believes they have evidence showing you were at fault. Your Charlotte car accident lawyer will have to review their claim to see if it has merit. if it does, you will have to seriously consider a settlement.

North Carolina is a Contributory Negligence State

One of the reasons it’s important to try to settle your case is that North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. This means that your claim will be dismissed if you’re found to be partially at fault. It doesn’t matter what percentage of fault is attributed to you. The courts in North Carolina are very strict about this. The other driver’s lawyer knows this. They’re going to use their counterclaim to encourage your attorney to agree to an out of court settlement.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Settlement in Charlotte, North Carolina

If you’re injured in any sort of car accident, you may need help. In North Carolina, the law is rather strict when it comes to contributory negligence. If the other driver’s lawyer files a counterclaim against you, it’s important that you have a skilled lawyer there to represent you. Call today and schedule your free initial consultation. The other party is going to have a lawyer representing them and you should too. There’s too much at risk to try to handle this on your own.