Have you been in a recent car accident and are wondering if you can be sued by the other parties involved? The answer to this question is not cut and dry and can vary depending on the facts of the case.
Typically, in the case of a car accident, a personal lawsuit directly against the other driver is not necessary because in most cases insurance is involved.
To take this point step further, pursuing an individual directly is typically a last resort to acquiring compensation from an at-fault driver.
Most individuals do not have the funds to accommodate a lawsuit on their own, this would likely result in bankruptcy and an extensive, lengthy process.
So, this is where having quality car insurance coverage comes into play. With most car accidents, a lawsuit will be filed against the insurance companies involved (if a settlement cannot be agreed upon) opposed to an at-fault driver directly.
Since Florida is a No-Fault State, in the event of a car accident, injured individuals who have been considered to have an Emergency Medical Condition resulting from the accident by a doctor will typically get their first $10,000 in medical expenses covered by their PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance. This is considered Florida’s “No-Fault Insurance.”
For more information on PIP or Florida’s No-Fault Insurance, check out this article we wrote on PIP FAQs.
Now, if you recently got in a car accident and are still worried about being sued, there are several factors that you should take into account to really determine what it would mean if the other driver sued you.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself:
- “Do I have car insurance?”
If you’re driving around without car insurance, you’re playing a very risky game. If a car accident happens and you are not insured, the other driver involved would have no other way to seek compensation for damages than to come after you directly.
- “Is my insurance coverage enough?”
If your insurance policy does not cover the damages and medical cost of injuries, the other driver will not be able to recover the full amount they need from the insurance company alone. In this case, it is possible that they might try to sue you individually to recover the full amount they need. If you think this may be the case, please call us immediately and we can help you sort through your options after hearing the details of your case.
- “Does the other driver have insurance?”
Regardless of if the other driver is carrying insurance, they may still try to come after your insurance to help pay for their injuries and damages. It is a good idea to consult with a personal injury attorney about your situation immediately if you think this is the case.
If you were also hurt in the accident with minor or major injuries and the other driver does not have insurance, you better hope that you splurged on your coverage and signed up for UM coverage in the case that you are dealing with someone who is uninsured or underinsured.
- “Was the accident my fault?”
Be honest with yourself. Do you think the accident was your fault? If you do, and the other driver was hurt, you may have a future lawsuit on your hands.
Remember when talking to anyone (the other parties involved, insurance adjusters, police, etc), never admit fault before consulting with an attorney. This little detail could ruin your case even if the accident was actually not your fault at all.
Many drivers will try to go through the insurance claim process before seeking legal assistance. However, oftentimes this is a very tedious and drawn out process which turns drivers to their other option- finding an attorney and pursuing a lawsuit.
Of course the reasons we have defined here today are not the only reasons people sue. We know all too well how vindictive people can be after an accident when they feel they are entitled to a certain amount of compensation.
What to do if you think you are being sued after a car accident?
The laws in each state vary, each insurance policy is different and all accidents are unique. It can be very helpful to have a professional on your side to help guide you through this intricate process.
However, if you’ve recently been in an auto accident, you may be encountering issues seeking compensation with your insurance company. That is normal. Because despite contrary belief, insurance companies do not want to pay out for accidents. They want to keep as much money in their pockets as possible.
An attorney can be useful in adding pressure to your insurer, helping you get the compensation you need.
If you have specific questions about your case and are interested in working with a professional, please contact us at Pipas Law Group.