Whom to Sue After a Car Accident

You were involved in a car crash that wasn’t your fault. Now you’ve got expenses to pay – medical bills, vehicle repairs, and all the other financial responsibilities that don’t go away after an accident.

One way to recover compensation for damages is to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Car accident lawsuits are some of the most frequently filed cases in the United States, and with an effective lawyer your chances of receiving compensation increase exponentially. 

Attorneys commonly represent victims because otherwise, they overlook important factors or underestimate their claims. Plus, the at-fault driver’s insurance company usually offers a settlement that is far too low.

A car accident attorney will evaluate your case and help you decide the best course of action. Contact Get Car Accident Money today for a free case consultation.

Determining Liability

Proving fault isn’t always straightforward, especially in accidents with no witnesses or conclusive evidence. If you want to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, you’ll need substantial proof to demonstrate to the insurance adjuster or jury that you were not at fault. 

When you hire an attorney from Get Car Accident Money, they will conduct an investigation and help you obtain the following:

  • A police report of the accident.
  • Photographs you took at the scene.
  • Medical records.
  • Auto repair bills.
  • Proof of lost income.

Having these documents will help your lawyer decide how much they can negotiate for your injuries and damages. To calculate economic damages, your lawyer will add up the applicable factors from above (medical bills, lost income) as well as your doctor’s estimations for the cost of future care.

The Settlement Process

Next, your attorney will help you draft a demand letter to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In this letter, you should state your claim, explain the injuries and damages you’ve incurred, and the amount of compensation you and your car accident lawyer have found equitable.

After you send the letter, the insurance company will investigate the case before accepting or denying your claim. This process may take longer than expected, but your attorney will stay in communication with the insurance company and make sure everything is moving as it should.

If the insurance company accepts your claim, you will receive a settlement offer. Both parties will negotiate, and at this point, you may accept the offer if it meets your financial needs. If insurance denies your claim, you can make an appeal to the claims adjuster or file a complaint at the district or county court, beginning the trial process.

Remember to file your lawsuit before your state’s statute of limitations deadline. 

Stages of a Lawsuit

  • After you file a lawsuit, the at-fault driver and their insurance company must reply within a fixed amount of time, usually 60 days.
  • The defendant may file a motion to delay the trial or give them an advantage in court. These include a motion for removal from state to federal court, a change of venue, change of judge, or a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
  • After sorting out pre-trial motions, the judge will set a trial date. If they do not assign a trial date, the judge may order mediation between you, your attorney, the other driver, and their attorney. A neutral mediator guides discussion between the parties in an attempt to reach an agreement without going to trial.
  • If mediation is unsuccessful, the lawyers on both sides will investigate the case, gather evidence, and share their findings with the other party. Both sides must share all information they discover with the other party.

Your case will go to trial only after these steps have been taken. Keep in mind that you and your car accident attorney may reach a settlement at any point in the process.

Suing the At-Fault Driver’s Employer

If an individual hits you while at work or running a work-related errand, you can sue under the legal theory of vicarious liability. This theory is built on the premise that an employer bears liability for the actions of an employee.

Vicarious liability is helpful to understand because many employers have more insurance than individual drivers, increasing the likelihood that you will receive satisfactory compensation.

To establish vicarious liability, your lawyer will need to prove that the person who hit you was in the process of carrying out a work-related duty, not on a personal errand. For example, vicarious liability can be applied in the case of a waste removal worker who rear-ends a car while working. However, if that worker hit the car while running a personal errand during a lunch break, their employer will probably not be liable.

Learn More Now

Car accident lawsuits can be complex and frustrating. Even if you are sure you were not at fault in a crash, the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier or legal team may try to delay the trial or offer a settlement that is far too low.

The legal process can be even more daunting for someone attempting to work through it on their own. That’s why it’s best to hire an experienced car accident attorney. Get Car Accident Money will evaluate your case and perform an investigation of our own; we have the resources and knowledge to get you the compensation you deserve, so contact us today.

Last updated on: October 1st, 2020