If you were injured in a car accident, your concerns are your injuries, healing, and excessive medical bills. Medical treatment and damages aren’t cheap, even if you were involved in a minor accident. Perhaps you wonder if you could sue someone personally for the damages and injuries, like perhaps the driver of the liable vehicle. Although it may be an option, it’s usually not usually necessary.
Suing someone after a car accident won’t be an easy thing. You’ll have to go through the driver’s insurance company to get a settlement for your costs. So, the insurance will cover this, not the driver. There are situations where your New York car accident lawyer may recommend a lawsuit.
If you have filed a personal injury claim to the liable driver for compensation of your damages and their insurer denies the settlement, offers you a low settlement, or refuses to negotiate, you may file a lawsuit against the driver. In this case, it's valid to sue someone personally. In most states, it’s not possible to directly sue the insurance company.
If the liable driver is an uninsured driver, they won’t have an insurance company to send your claim to. If this is your case, here are your two options:
You have the right to sue the driver personally for the damages they caused you. The likeliest problem here is that if you sue someone personally who doesn’t have insurance, chances are they won’t have any money to compensate you. So even if you win, they may not be able to pay you off.
If your decision is to sue, contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible, so they can review your case and guide you into the process. Your lawyer will tell you what you can expect from the lawsuit.
If you got hit by an uninsured motorist, you can turn to your insurance company. Most drivers have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM). This optional insurance will cover your damages to a certain amount if you were hit by an uninsured driver (or without sufficient insurance).
Even if you get UM/UIM coverage, it may not be enough to cover your expenses and you might want to seek damages from the liable driver.
Filing a personal injury claim is the first step in seeking compensation. It can be done with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. After you do this, the insurer will assign fault and decide to accept your claim and pay the settlement you are demanding, send a counter settlement offer or deny your claim.
Insurance companies aren’t very fond of paying too high settlements on car accident claims; they will likely either offer a low settlement or deny the claim. If that is the case, then make sure to consult your car accident lawyer so they can help you negotiate and get the full compensation you demand.
Hiring a skilled lawyer is important because they know what to do in situations where a low settlement is offered. They will help negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to get a fair settlement. An experienced attorney will help you and the insurer to reach an agreement. You would get the settlement, and the case would be closed (which works excellent for both sides).
But, if the insurance company isn’t willing to accept the negotiations, or if the negotiation is not leading you anywhere near to the claim you need, you might consider suing the at-fault driver personally.
If you were involved in an accident and ended up with injuries, the responsible driver is required to file a report with the local police. Once you exchange the information with the other driver, make sure you don’t rush to accept any arrangements or financial coverage from the other driver. it may jeopardize your chances to sue someone personally. No matter how minor your injuries or damages are, things might become complex later and you won’t be able to get any settlement.
If the insurance company offers a low settlement and you decide to sue the liable driver, the best thing you can do is hire a car accident lawyer to sue someone personally. Contact a firm that has experience in this area, so things won’t get even more complicated for you.
Our team at Cellino Law has worked on such cases. If you were involved in an accident in New York (and ended up even with minor injuries or damages), contact our office. We offer you a free case review. Schedule your consultation today.