Being involved in a car accident is not only stressful, but it often brings additional complex tasks such as dealing with insurance companies, lawyers, the other driver, doctors, and more. As you begin to realize how large your debt will be after the accident, you may wonder if you should sue the person who caused the accident. Suing someone is not a pleasant decision to make, but there is a time when legal action is worth consideration.
Suing the Driver of the Other Car
While suing someone sounds distasteful, it’s sometimes the only way to receive compensation for your damages. While insurance companies claim to cover everything you have lost, the amount they offer you may not be enough to take care of your needs. In addition, a driver without car insurance can result in you footing the entire bill, which is totally unreasonable and unfair.
It’s true that insurance companies are always looking for ways to reduce the cost of settlements. However, they also know that the longer a claim takes to settle, the more money it costs them. They will sometimes settle sooner rather than later just to save money, in which case it’s more profitable for you to sue the faulty driver in the accident. Here are three simple ways to make this important decision:
1.Have Everything Documented
Evidence is the single element that really matters to insurance companies. By having photos of the accident, copies of bills for property damage and medical expenses, and proof of lost pay due to the accident, you will have a collection of evidence. This information will help you decide whether to sue, as it will give you a clear sum of the amount of money and harm that you have incurred due to the accident.
2. Get a Car Accident Attorney
While it’s commendable to try to settle things alone, you likely need an attorney to represent you while you try to settle things either through a claim or a lawsuit. Most people don’t know enough about the law to know their options. An attorney will represent you during negotiations and help you recover the most for your damages and injuries.
There are some lawyers, such as Bryan Folger at Folger Law Firm, who specialize in car accidents. These attorneys know the ins and outs of vehicle accidents including how much the case might be worth. You should check to see if an attorney will represent you on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you won’t pay the attorney until you are compensated. Oftentimes, their websites may state something similar to “No Recovery No Fee Guarantee,” which lets you know that the attorney will take a percentage of the verdict, but you owe nothing in the interim. Remember that you are paying an attorney for his or her expertise, and the fees associated with the claim are well worth it so you can recover a fair amount of money for your losses.
3. Deciding Whether to Sue or Not
Now that you have collected all of the evidence and spoken with an attorney, you should consider if suing is a good option. Here are a few other thoughts to consider:
- Don’t Trust the Insurance Companies – Typically, you are dealing with two insurance companies. The other driver’s insurance company will try to offer a low amount to settle, and your insurance company will also try to save money. Insurance companies are notorious for offering low offers that are unreasonable, and you may feel that from both sides. Just remember that time is also money to them, so don’t accept the first offer from either.
- Figure a Total Amount of Economic Damages – With your attorney’s help, you should be able to come up with a total amount of the economic damages. This would include medical expenses, missed wages from work, property damages, and more. This figure will let you know the minimum offer that you can accept from the insurance companies. If they aren’t willing to come close to that amount, you know that you should then sue the other driver to make up for the difference.
- Think about Non-Economic Damages – We usually only think in terms of economic damages when we file a claim for injuries and loss. However, there are non-economic damages that should be considered. These could include emotional distress, loss of relations with family members, pain and suffering, and even punitive damages. These types of claims aren’t covered by insurance policies, but you may still be able to receive compensation for these losses. In that case, you would need to file a lawsuit against the other driver in the accident.
Statute of Limitations Regarding Car Accident Cases
Many people don’t know that you only have 1-2 years after an accident to sue for losses, and after that, you may not be able to sue at all for those damages. That is why it is so important that you contact an attorney right away to get the case filed. While 1-2 years may seem like a long time, it will likely take a long time before you can actually file. First, you and your attorney will need to gather all information and build a case explaining why you deserve compensation for damages. Be proactive and see a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to get the process started.
Contact Folger Law Firm in Phoenix, AZ Today
While suing someone may seem uncomfortable, it may be the only way that you can receive compensation for the losses that you have suffered. Bryan Folger at Folger Law Firm offers free, no-risk consultation visits to hear your story and see how he can help you. Don’t delay, but contact Bryan today to get started on the road to recovery.