I was in a car accident early Jan. and I ended up getting a careless driving ticket. The next day, the cops came to my house and changed the ticket from a regular careless driving to a careless driving resulting in serious bodily injury claiming the other person had to go into emergency surgery due to a ruptured eyeball. I know the other person was not wearing a seat belt and now my insurance is saying the other person's claim may exceed my coverage of 50,000. What do I do now?
Hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, first and foremost. That is a very serious charge, even though it is a misdemeanor in CO, and oftentimes involves a jail sentence. See if your attorney can handle the civil aspect of the lawsuit involving the personal injury as well as the criminal case. You might need two separate attorneys. You will be responsible for any amount over the insurance coverage after taking into consideration any comparative negligence of the other driver - for not wearing a seat belt and their driving behavior.
The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in his legal services, feel free to call Chris at (303) 409-7635 at his law office in the Denver Tech Center. All initial consultations are free of charge.
Personal Injury Lawyer
First, if the ticket given was under, or is equivelant to, a criminal charge in your jurisdiction, you should consult with a criminal defense lawyer. It appears that you already notified your auto insurance carrier of the accident, so that is a good thing. If the other party does not want to accept the $50,000 policy limit you have (assuming its offered by your insurer- and it sounds as if they should- but decides to sue, you can be personally liable for any judmgent/amount that is in excess of the $50K. Your insurance carrier will assign an attorney to defend you, so that is a cost you won't have to bear, but you can hire your own personal attorney to look over the shoulder of the insurance carrier's attorney to make sure the right thing is being done. If it can be proven that the injured party would not have been injured, or would have been injured to a lesser degree (ie- no loss of eyesight), had the seatbelt been worn, then a jury can award a lesser some of money because of that ; which would be helpful to you, of course. Good luck.
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
Your insurance company should tender in exchange for a Release in your favor. If they don't than they will defend your claim and provide you an attorney. If you feel like you need private counsel than you should seek your own attorney ASAP.
Call for a free consultation at 727-937-1400 or visit us on the Web at www.serviceandjustice.com.
Personal Injury Lawyer
Spend a couple hundred bucks for a local traffic court lawyer, and your chances of a successful resolution increases exponentially.
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