After getting into a car accident, your biggest concerns are probably your injury pain and how to pay for medical costs. Medical expenses and vehicle damage are not cheap, even in minor accidents. You might wonder if you can personally sue the at-fault driver for the damages they have caused you.
While this may be an option, it’s not usually necessary. You typically go through the driver’s insurance company for reimbursement of your costs, not the driver individually. However, there are situations where your Atlanta car accident lawyer may recommend a lawsuit.
Is It Worth It to Sue the Other Driver After a Car Accident?
It can be worth it to sue the other driver, especially if the insurance claim has already paid out the maximum amount you can file for in your claim. However, don’t delay, as certain time limits can affect your case, and if you wait too long, the courts could deny your claim entirely. Speak to an attorney today to determine which avenue is best for you to pursue in your case.
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Your First Step: Negotiating with the Insurance Company
Your lawyer can help you negotiate a fair settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Many times, if you have an experienced attorney, you and the insurer can reach an agreement. You would receive the insurance settlement, and the case would be closed.
Sometimes, the insurance company won’t budge on what they’re willing (or unwilling) to offer you. If extensive negotiation is still getting you nowhere close to covering your costs, consider suing the driver personally after the accident.
Situations Wherein You Can Sue Someone Personally for a Car Accident
Should your claim for personal injury damages against the at-fault driver be denied by their insurer or their proposed settlement seems unreasonably low, resorting to a lawsuit may become your best option. However, be aware that most states will not allow you to sue the insurance company directly, and instead, you will have to pursue legal action against the driver.
If the at-fault driver is uninsured, they will not have an insurance company to send a claim to. In this situation, you will have two options:
Suing the Driver Individually
As an aggrieved party, you are legally entitled to file a claim against the at-fault driver for your incurred losses. Nonetheless, the hitch is that most uninsured drivers do not possess the monetary resources or property to offset their liabilities. This implies that even if you triumph, it may be arduous to reclaim your full compensation.
Hence, if you resolve to take legal action, seeking a competent car accident attorney is crucial. Their legal expertise can come in handy in appraising your case and charting the best way forward. Besides, they can elucidate your chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit.
Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim
If you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver, you know how traumatic it can be. The thought of paying for all the expenses can be daunting but worry not because you have a second option. You can turn to your insurance company and use your uninsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance coverage.
This insurance policy is optional, but most drivers have it unless they opt out. The policy covers you up to a certain amount if an uninsured driver hits you or if the at-fault driver does not have sufficient insurance coverage. This means you do not have to pay for all the expenses from your pocket.
However, even with UM/UIM insurance coverage, it may not be sufficient to cover all your expenses. This is why you should seek damages from the at-fault party. This can be done by filing a lawsuit. But before you take any legal action, it is best to talk to a lawyer who understands the car accident laws in your area. This will ensure that you clearly understand your legal rights and options.
Proving Fault and Liability After a Car Accident
Determining the liable party is the most important factor in a Georgia car accident. Here’s how it works:
- All drivers must act in a way that does not harm other drivers.
- If a driver fails in that duty, they have been negligent.
- When the driver’s negligence leads to accident injuries, property damage, and other financial losses, that driver is at fault.
Laws about liability and negligence will vary by state. Since Georgia is a fault state, the at-fault driver is responsible for all costs of the auto accident they caused.
You Can Still File for Damages Even if You Were Partly at Fault for the Accident
A person injured by another person’s breach of duty of care has the right to recover damages they suffer.
If you were hurt in a car accident another driver caused, you are likely entitled to seek financial compensation for your damages. You can do this even if you hold partial fault in the accident as long as you are not 50% or more at fault.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim Is Easier When You Hire an Attorney to Help You
Taking the initial leap of filing a personal injury claim is crucial to obtaining the compensation you deserve. You can commence this process by lodging a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Once done, the insurance provider will determine who was liable and evaluate whether they will agree to the settlement you seek, present a counteroffer, or altogether dismiss your claim.
Regrettably, insurance companies tend to be averse to paying substantial settlements in vehicular accident cases. Therefore, they will likely present a low offer or reject your claim. In this instance, seeking the aid of a car accident attorney is highly advisable. A personal injury lawyer can assist you in negotiating and pursuing full reimbursement of the compensation owed to you.
You Have a Limited Amount of Time to Sue Someone After a Car Accident in Georgia
If you decide to personally sue the driver for your car accident, your time for choosing a legal option is limited. You have “two years after the right of action accrues,” meaning you have two years from the date of your car accident to bring your case. This is known as the statute of limitations.
You must get started as soon as possible. Many steps are involved in a lawsuit, and you may wait long. Even if you win your accident lawsuit and the other driver must pay you, you may not immediately get the full compensation you deserve. There’s a whole process that requires the expertise of a personal injury lawyer.
Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in Georgia Can Help You with Your Car Accident Claim
If you are worried about getting the compensation you need and deserve after a car accident, contact the legal team at John Foy & Associates. During a FREE consultation, we can look at the details of your case and determine the best course of action for you. If that involves suing someone personally after your accident, we will be there every step of the way.
We have been helping car accident victims win the money they need for over 20 years. We know what it takes to win a successful case from start to finish. To schedule a FREE consultation today, call us or contact us online.