According to the NHTSA, in 2019 alone there were 36,096 fatal car crashes in the US. If you are a car accident victim, you can sue individuals personally after a crash. However, this process isn’t as straightforward as you may assume because you will have to prove that the other party was responsible for the damages and your injuries.
To maximize the possible outcome of your case, you’ll need to discuss the circumstances that led to the crash with a car accident attorney from Pacific West Injury Law. We will uncover every detail regarding your case and help you get the rightful compensation for your damages, and you won’t pay until we win.
Is It Worth Suing Someone After a Car Accident?
Yes, it’s worth your time and effort to sue the driver responsible for the accident. This is the right choice, especially when the driver’s insurer isn’t offering the right compensation. Also, the sooner you begin exploring your options, the faster you can get compensated for the crash.
Note that certain time limits can significantly affect your case, so don’t delay. Speaking to an experienced car accident attorney could be a good idea to discuss the best avenue to pursue your case.
How Do I Know When It’s Time to Sue Someone Personally?
After a car accident, deciding to sue someone personally is a huge step. In some cases, it’s difficult for both parties to come to the right agreement, and going to court is time-consuming. That’s why you need to deal with the insurance company first to know the settlement they are willing to offer.
Also, deciding to go to court is a personal preference, and you could end up getting a larger compensation. Therefore, it’s essential to recognize the right time when suing the other driver is in your best interest.
You Are Clearly Not at Fault for the Car Crash
To successfully sue someone for a car accident, you need to prove that they were at fault. You should establish:
- Breach of duty of care: This means the responsible party didn’t uphold their obligation
- Duty of care: All drivers have a responsibility to drive safely whenever they are on public roads
- Damages: The car accident has resulted in monetary losses
- Causation: The responsible driver caused your collision
Providing all possible proof is the best way to show that the other party was at fault. Distracted or careless driving is one way of proving that the other driver caused the accident. Notably, statistics from NHTSA show that distracted driving claimed about 3,142 lives in 2019.
The Insurer’s Settlement Is Too Low
Generally, insurance companies will try to offer you a low settlement since they are the ones making payments and not the responsible party. Therefore, take a closer look at what the insurance company wants to offer you as a settlement. If the amount is too low or the compensation won’t cater to what you and your loved ones need to recover fully, then it would be in your best interest to sue the other driver.
Your Bills Are Too High
The severity of car accidents can differ significantly. In case the car crash leads to severe injuries, your medical bills might keep growing. If this is the case, and the insurance settlement you expect won’t be enough to cover the entire bill, you need to consider suing the other driver.
Always take a hard look at the compensation that the other driver’s insurance is willing to provide and compare it with your expected expenses. If the settlement isn’t sufficient and the insurer isn’t reconsidering the compensation, going to court is the right move.
Suing the Other Driver Individually
You have a legal right to sue the other driver for the personal injuries caused during the accident, including future medical costs. However, the problem is that some drivers are uninsured, and they don’t have sufficient funds or assets to draw upon once you sue them. As such, even if you win the case, you might not recover enough money for your hospital bills and damages.
That’s why you should always involve a car accident lawyer from the early stages of your case. An attorney can assess your case and advise on the most appropriate steps to take. They can also tell you the potential outcome of your lawsuit.
Filling an Uninsured Claim
If the other driver is uninsured, you can turn to your own insurer. Note that most drivers have underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage that can cover you up to a specific amount if the other driver was uninsured or without sufficient insurance. Therefore, make sure you discuss with a local personal injury lawyer who understands everything about car accident laws within your area before filing a lawsuit.
How Much Can I Sue Someone for After a Car Crash?
There is no set limit on how much you can sue the responsible party after a car crash. That said, here are a few things worth considering that can determine your settlement.
- Medical bills: You should include any medical expenses accrued due to the accident as compensation from the initial treatment, doctors’ visits, lab work, physical therapy, prescription drugs, and surgery.
- Lost wages: If you have had to take time off from work, lost your job, or switched job positions due to the accident, you can include the lost income during the recovery period.
- Pain and suffering: You should get compensation for the emotional and physical turmoil of the injuries from the accident. A car accident attorney can determine these costs by assessing the impact of the car crash on your life.
Get Legal Assistance from a Car Accident Attorney from Pacific West Injury Law
Suing someone personally following a crash depends on several factors that can complicate the process, leading to lowball compensation from the insurance company. Pacific West Injury Law will review all your legal options depending on your situation and seek deserved monetary compensation for you and your family members. Contact us for a free case review today.