I'm from Ireland (Not U.S)
I have been sued by the driver of the car I rear ended in Las Vegas while on vacation two years ago. I was driving a rental car and have $1.0 Million coverage from the rental company.
The other drivers injuries so far have $45K medical bills and there is a lost future income claim of $250,000K and on top of this the drivers injuries are claimed to be permanent (Spinal vertebral fracture) and her doctor has said she will need pain medication for the rest of her life (She's 50)
Her original demand from the rental car company is way in excess of $1.0 Million. I am currently represented by the rental car companies appointed lawyer firm and depositions are currently in progress.
Is it likely this case will go to trial based upon all of the circumstances ?
The rental car company has also been sued. Plaintiff is saying they need to prove insurance in Nevada. Is this normal?
It is unlikely that your case will go to trial, but it is always possible. I doubt that the plaintiff will turn down an offer within the policy limits if one is made.
Personal Injury Lawyer
Depositions are generally taken for the purpose of reducing claims and observations to sworn testimony in preparation for trial. There is always the possibility the case will settle before trial, but there is also the likelihood the case will go to trial. Only the attorneys actually involved in the details of your case can nail it down. Ask.
Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.
You are in litigation and you represented by counsel. Your lawyer should be able to tell you about the possibility of a trial. Most cases do not go to trial. There will be attempts to settle before trial, such as mediation. Talk to your lawyer.
I understand your anxiety but if you speak to your lawyer he will advise you that depositions are part of the discovery process. Likewise in all probability your carrier and defense team will want to conduct an Independent Medical Exam of the parties making claims to verify the injuries and treatment and determine whether it is a permanent injury. Generally speaking once that process is completed serious settlement discussions follow. They also might agree to a mediation or arbitration thus avoiding trial. Be patient, don't worry that is why you have lawyers paid for by the insurance carrier for the rent a car and be grateful you were smart enough to buy the insurance when you rented the car. Good Luck!
The probability of a trial is most cases is very low. Based on what you have stated, it's hard to imagine that the case against you would be worth in excess of $1m. So even in a worst case scenario, with lengthy trip back to Las Vegas for a trial, it's hard to imagine you facing any personal exposure with a judgment in excess of $1m. Assuming your liability for the accident is not in question, the claims most likely to be in dispute by the rental company and your attorneys are the lost income and future medical...if the injured party and her attorney are being unreasonable and trying to get way more than the case is worth, that is a reason the case could go to trial.
The only person really able to address your questions is your attorney, hired by the rental car company's insurance carrier. Contact your attorney and pose all of these questions to him or her. You also should urge the carrier to settle the claim within your available policy limit. If you had liability insurance in Ireland, you should find out if the coverage extends to you while driving in the United States. If it does, your carrier should be notified of the suit and a demand is made to them to help defend you. Hopefully you have already discussed this issue with your US-based defense attorney.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
Best to call your lawyer for an update
95% or more of all civil litigation is settled without a trial. The odds of a trial are low, but it appears you have a very significant case - honestly you never know. Just remember that as the Plaintiff you have control over the overall disposition of your case. It can only go to trial if you wish it to do so (or you could settle, dismiss or proceed.) The Plaintiff has the over all say. (Not to say that it couldn't get kicked out for other reasons but you know what I mean and you should definitely listen to your attorney)