The experience of getting into a car accident can be traumatic. On top of the trauma, there’s pain from your injuries and the stress of how to pay for the costs.
Medical treatments aren’t cheap; key facts from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that road traffic injuries cause extensive economic losses. These losses come from treatment costs as well as productivity losses for individuals who take time off from work. These road accidents cost three percent of most countries’ gross domestic product (GDP).
If another driver is clearly at fault for the accident, you may wonder whether you can sue for damages. But before you do that, determine first who is at fault and try to negotiate with the insurance company.
Determine Who Is at Fault
Are you 100 percent sure that the other driver is at fault? Are you positive you haven’t violated any traffic regulations? A skilled lawyer can identify who’s at fault for the accident and what damages you’re entitled to for your injuries.
However, you should also take note of the negligence laws in your state. Typically, car accident lawsuits are predicated on the theory that the other driver was careless. In line with that, state laws award damages differently with respect to each driver’s degree of negligence.
Settle With Insurance
Next off your to-do list is to find out if the other driver’s insurance can cover the costs of damages. Most states have the no-fault insurance option, where insurance assumes the medical coverage for whichever driver caused the accident.
What’s important is that if you’ve made an insurance claim, negotiated extensively, and they still aren’t covering all expenses, the next step is a lawsuit.
Suing the At-Fault Driver
You have the right to sue the at-fault driver for personal injuries caused by the crash. This is unless the insurance company acted in bad faith or deliberately didn’t honor your claim. But note that most states don’t allow individuals to sue the insurance company directly.
If you’re confused about how to take someone to court on a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident, here are four FAQs to guide you.
1) Is suing the at-fault driver after a car accident worth the effort?
It can be worth it to sue the other driver if the insurance has already paid the maximum amount for your claim. But remember not to delay, as there are limits that may affect your case if you wait for too long. Talk to a lawyer and ask which avenue is best for your case.
2) What if the other driver was uninsured?
You have two options if the other driver doesn’t have insurance coverage. First, you can personally sue the driver. But remember, those without insurance likely have few assets to pay for a lawsuit.
Your second option is filing a claim with your insurance company under “uninsured motorist benefits” if you have one. Keep in mind that uninsured motorist benefits can’t exceed the amount of your primary coverage. For instance, if you have $200,000 in coverage, you can only have up to $200,000 of uninsured benefits.
3) Can I still file for damages even if I’m partly at fault for the car accident?
If you’re injured by another person’s breach of legal duty, you have the right to recover damages you suffered. It means if you got hurt in a vehicular accident attributable to another driver, you could demand compensation.
You can still do this even if you’re partially at fault in the accident. Just make sure you’re not 50% or more at fault.
4) What is the time limit for suing someone after a car accident?
The answer to this varies per state, so check with a lawyer. The best course of action is to start the process as early as possible. Statutes of limitations enforce time limits for filing lawsuits, ensuring that the threat of a case is limited.
If you miss the time limit for filing the lawsuit, you may be restricted from getting any compensation for your injuries. Several steps are involved in a suit, and you may have to wait indefinitely to get the result. And if you win the case, you may gain the full compensation after some time.
Hire a Lawyer To Help You
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), financial damages from vehicle collisions are substantial. The deaths caused by traffic crashes alone cost $55 billion yearly in cumulative medical and lost wage costs.
If you’re a car accident victim, you must understand your rights when crashes occur. But expect the process will be more complex since insurance companies prefer to pay less. If you want it to be easier and hassle-free, it’s best to work with a lawyer.
Insurance companies will most likely deny a claim or offer a lowball settlement. In this event, a personal injury lawyer can fight for your rights to get full compensation. Malpractice Center can help you sue someone for personal injury due to an accident. Talking to a legal professional teaches you the truth about typical car accident settlement amounts so that you can make informed choices.
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