Auto insurance should cover the cost of treating injuries and making repairs to property damage after a car accident in most states. However, getting compensated may become challenging if the liable party's insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand what to know about suing after a car accident.
Suing the liable party after a car accident requires that you have sufficient evidence to prove their negligence. A car accident lawyer can help you investigate the cause of the accident and gather enough proof to win your case if it goes to trial.
Which Parties Can You Sue After a Car Accident?
The main party that you can sue after a car accident is the liable party. In some cases, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party. The parties you may be able to sue after a car accident are:
- The car driver
- The driver's employer
- The vehicle's owner
- The liable party's insurer
- Your insurance company
The party you can sue will vary based on the laws of your state. For instance, if your state has comparative negligence laws, you may be able to sue more than one liable party after a car accident. A car accident lawyer can help you determine which party you can sue to recover compensatory damages.
A lawyer can help you gather evidence to determine the at-fault parties in a car accident. In California, for instance, you may be able to sue at-fault parties as long as your percentage of fault in the accident does not exceed 50% in California.
Suing the liable party in court is a time-sensitive process, as various states have different statutes of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. You can confer with a personal injury lawyer to learn how much time you have to sue the at-fault party. The sooner the process starts, the easier it will likely be for you to recover damages in a timely fashion.
What Are the Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Suing the liable party follows a laid out framework based on your state's laws. The first step is often filing a complaint or lawsuit in court. The complaint should contain the damages you are seeking and why you should recover those damages. A personal injury lawyer can help you determine a fair value for your claim and what damages you may recover.
The most common damages that you can recover in a personal injury claim after a car accident include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral costs if the accident resulted in the death of a loved one
The pre-trial period is also important for sharing the evidence gathered in support of your claim.
A personal injury lawyer can help you negotiate for a fair settlement if there is sufficient evidence proving the at-fault party's liability. Once you file a complaint, the defendant may file various motions in response. The defendant may also ask for the case to get dismissed if it has missed the statute of limitations. If the case goes to trial, you and the defendant party may still be able to settle out-of-court.
A car accident lawyer can help you understand the legal process. A lawyer will help protect your interests in court and represent you if necessary.
Can You Sue the Liable Party After a Minor Car Accident?
Yes, you can sue the at-fault party even if the car accident is minor, depending on the state and circumstances of the accident.
Unfortunately, many injured parties make the mistake of neglecting to seek medical attention immediately after a minor accident. Some states, such as Florida, follow a no-fault system. This means that motorists must recover damages from their own insurance. However, your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits can only cover your damages up to a certain limit.
A minor car accident can still cause damages and medical bills exceeding the $10,000 PIP limit. This gives you the right to sue the liable party to get compensatory damages if your case meets a certain threshold. A lawyer can help educate you on your state's legal requirements for suing after a car accident, even if the event was minor.
Learn More About Suing After a Car Accident Today
A personal injury lawyer can help you know if you have a valid claim after a car accident. The lawyer can help you understand what to know about suing after a car accident based on the state's laws. Call Dolman Law Group today to receive a free consultation.