Can I Sue After a Car Accident?

You can generally sue after a car accident when:

  • You suffer injuries from the car accident, in which case you may bring a personal injury claim
  • Your loved one passes away from accident-related injuries, in which case you may bring a wrongful death claim

You might recover compensation directly through insurance coverage. Every car accident victim faces different circumstances. A qualified car accident attorney can recommend the most likely path to compensation.

Why Do Car Accident Victims Sue?

You may sue after a car accident for several reasons, including:

  • The at-fault driver in your accident lacks insurance.
  • The at-fault driver’s insurance is not enough to cover your losses.
  • The at-fault driver’s insurance doesn’t cover specific losses that entitle you to compensation.
  • You believe the liable party’s conduct is beyond the pale of an insurance claim, leaving a lawsuit as the clearest way to obtain justice.

There are many possible rationales for suing.

You May Explore the Merit of an Insurance Claim Before Suing

Suing is one course of action after a car accident, but it may not be your first. You may at least explore the possibility of an insurance payout before filing a lawsuit. As stated, an insurance policy may not be enough to cover your losses if the at-fault motorist has insurance at all.

Though all motorists in Florida are required to have auto insurance, there’s no guarantee that you’ll receive fair coverage. You may not receive adequate compensation through insurance if:

  • The insurance company contests their customer’s liability: An insurance company may claim that their customer is not at fault for your accident.
  • The insurance company offers a low settlement amount: Insurance companies may agree to pay your claim, but for less than you deserve.
  • The insurance company denies your claim: An insurance company may find one or more reasons to deny your claim outright.
  • The insurance company delays your claim: An insurance company may wait to process your claim in the hopes that you’ll accept a poor settlement offer. You may choose to sue in light of these tactics.

The insurance process can wear you out. Before you decide to sue, you want an attorney to handle your claim. If you do get paid through insurance, the process may be quicker than a lawsuit. However, you should never accept a low settlement in the name of expediency.

Once you decide to sue, your attorney will act quickly.

Who Should You Sue After a Car Accident?

A lawyer will gather the facts of your car accident before determining who to sue. Liability varies from case to case. Motorists are the most common cause of motor vehicle accidents, and your lawyer should certainly examine any motorists involved in your accident for liability.

A motorist may be liable for your collision if they:

  • Were speeding
  • Were intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
  • Made a dangerous turn
  • Changed lanes in a dangerous manner
  • Ran a red light, stop sign, or yield signal
  • Were tailgating
  • Were tired, without proper eyewear, or diminished in any other way
  • Contributed to your collision in any other way

Parties other than motorists can be liable for a car accident. In cases of a vehicle defect, a vehicle manufacturer or seller may be liable. When dangerous road conditions exist, the organization liable for those conditions like a city may be liable. Your attorney will review your case and identify all liable parties.

Should You Hire a Lawyer After Your Car Accident?

It is always wise to hire a lawyer from the start of your case. Whether you ultimately file an insurance claim or lawsuit, a lawyer can be of great assistance. A qualified personal injury lawyer will be willing to:

Identify the Cause of Your Accident and All Liable Parties

No two car accidents happen the same way. Though there can be similarities, it’s essential to determine precisely how your accident occurred. Once your lawyer knows how and why your accident happened, they can pinpoint all liable parties.

Gather All Relevant Evidence and Documentation of Your Losses

A capable law firm will complete a thorough investigation of your car accident.

They may hire third-party investigators to:

  • Visit your accident scene.
  • Seek video footage of your collision, which may come from dash cameras, traffic cameras, security video, or other sources
  • Interview witnesses to your accident
  • Gather and preserve any physical evidence
  • Take photographs of the accident scene, property damage, and injuries.
  • Obtain the police report from your accident

The more useful evidence your law firm can gather, the stronger your case may be.

Communicate With the Insurance Companies and Other Attorneys

Insurance companies and attorneys are a possible threat to your rights. They may try to misconstrue your words, pressure you into an unfair settlement, and act in other deceptive ways. Your attorney will deal with these parties, protecting your rights in the process.

Negotiate a Settlement or Proceed to Trial

The majority of civil lawsuits end in a settlement instead of making it to trial. Your attorney will try to settle your case. If you can’t settle for any reason, you may take your case to trial.

Defend Your Right to Seek Compensation

A single sentence can derail your compensation case. If you accidentally admit fault to the wrong party or accept a settlement on impulse, you might end your chances of a fair recovery. A competent lawyer will protect your rights throughout your case.

What Should You Look for in a Car Accident Lawyer?

Car accident victims should seek a lawyer with:

  • Experience with car accident cases
  • A provable record of success in car accident cases
  • The ability to make you feel comfortable during your consultation
  • A fee structure that you’re comfortable with

Personal injury lawyers will generally offer a contingency fee structure. This means that the lawyer’s fee is dependent on them securing compensation for you. If they secure an insurance payment, settlement, or judgment, then they will get their fee. If they don’t secure compensation for you, then you don’t have to pay fees.

January 4, 2022

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