Who Do I Sue After a Car Accident – The Driver or Insurance Company
Suing After a Car Accident
Understanding whether you should sue the car insurance company or the negligent driver after a car accident is a very common question, and rightfully so because the entire lawsuit process can be very confusing to individuals who are not well versed in the legal and insurance industries.
So picture this:
You were just in a car crash. A reckless driver slammed into your car while you were stopped at a red light.
This individual was obviously not paying attention, and now you are not only left with a damaged, or even totaled, vehicle, but you are physically injured and in need of medical treatment.
You shouldn’t be responsible for paying for your property damage or medical expenses, right?
Well, then who do you sue? What are the first steps you need to take? These are all important questions, and they will each be answered in this blog.
Every car accident is different, and different scenarios can result in different plans of action and outcome.
Many car accidents are caused by texting in the US.
Remember that this is a guide, but to get specific information about your car accident and your individual needs, you will need to schedule a free consultation with an expert car accident attorney.
I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.
First and foremost, it is essential to, without a doubt, determine and prove fault in the car accident.
You need to document everything.
This means pictures, witness statements, and most importantly, a police report.
This evidence is essential to proving your innocence so the at-fault driver and their insurance company can not argue who is at fault and weasel their way out of paying you the damages you deserve.
Working with an attorney will help, and they will do most of the legwork to ensure that you receive your compensation for being the innocent victim in this auto accident.
Negotiating with the Insurance Company
Before you “sue” anyone, it is wise to try to settle the case outside of court.
If you hire a professional and experienced personal injury lawyer to help fight for your rights after an accident, they can typically handle all of the negotiations with the insurance company of the at-fault driver and get you the settlement you need without taking the case to court.
Although, if it does come to that, make sure you find a lawyer that is willing and able to continue to represent you and fight for your needs.
During negotiations, your attorney will collect evidence to present to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
This will prove fault, the cost of medical bills, treatments, miscellaneous expenses, time missed at work, and pain and suffering.
These categories will be totaled into one large sum and presented as the first settlement offer.
Typically the first offer will not be accepted, and negotiations will ensue.
At this point, it is important to let your attorney do their job and get you the amount of compensation that you need.
Suing the Reckless Driver
Many states will not allow individuals to sue the car insurance company directly, which means victims sue the driver who caused the crash and their insurance coverage helps them pay for the damages they caused.
So in a way, you are suing them both, the driver is at fault, but their insurance company is the one paying out the settlement.
Individuals have car insurance for these exact types of situations. Most people will not have the cash on hand to pay for your damaged vehicle, medical bills, missed time at work, on-going treatments, and pain and suffering.
Therefore, people pay their car insurance company every month, so if they find themselves held responsible, their insurance company can help back them up and bail them out financially.
What If the Driver Does Not Have Car Insurance?
In an instance where the driver you intend to sue does not have auto insurance, things can get a little trickier. Not only is it illegal to drive uninsured, but now the driver does not have a way to pay out the money they owe you.
This usually leaves you with one of two options, option two being the better one.
The first option is suing the careless driver that caused your accident directly.
While this seems like a fine plan, in most cases, when a driver is uninsured, they typically do not have a lot of financial or physical assets that would permit them to pay you back.
So while you can file a suit against them and even win, there is no guarantee that you will be able to ever collect on your winnings.
Thankfully, that is why you have car insurance. Typically, your insurance company will become responsible for paying your medical bills via your policy’s uninsured motorist clause.
This is never the best option, which is why it is so important for every driver on the road to be insured.
Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney for Help
In conclusion, you should try to settle your auto accident injury case outside of court with negotiations, but if necessary, it is most common to file a lawsuit against the individual that caused the accident, and their insurance company will typically be responsible for paying the amount decided on by a judge or jury.
An auto accident injury attorney is the only professional that can help you win these types of cases and determine what is best for you and your specific circumstance, so make your appointment for a free consultation today.
Related Blog: How long after a car accident do I have to sue?
The best part about retaining a lawyer is that you can get the help you need and never pay out of pocket.
You should find an attorney that works on a contingency fee basis, so they will only be paid if they win your case, and their fee will be taken directly from the settlement they win for you.
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