Yes, some situations could make it necessary to sue someone personally for damages incurred in a car accident. However, a car accident attorney can help you understand your legal options after you have sustained injuries in a crash.
After a car accident, the injured party typically files an insurance claim against the at-fault party’s policy. However, your lawyer can help you understand if your injuries require you to file a lawsuit. They will have your best interests in mind so that you can make the soundest decision about your impending case.
Situations Where It’s Worth it To Sue the Driver Personally
It’s common to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance provider to collect the compensation you need. However, some situations could occur where it’s worth your while to sue the at-fault party. These situations could include:
- The at-fault party doesn’t have auto insurance. Texas law requires drivers to have auto insurance coverage. So, if they don’t have insurance to cover the costs of the damages, you could sue them personally. Another remedy to this situation is filing an uninsured motorist claim against your policy. Your attorney can guide you on the best option for this case.
- The at-fault party’s insurance policy limits don’t cover the costs of your damages. When you have exhausted the policy limits of the at-fault party’s insurance coverage, you could sue them personally for the remainder of the damages.
When you sue the at-fault party personally, you can still negotiate to reach a fair deal that adequately compensates your losses. Unfortunately, the at-fault party likely won’t have the money to immediately pay you a lump sum. Therefore, during negotiations, you must discuss how they will pay out what they owe you.
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You Could Avoid Filing a Lawsuit Against Someone After a Car Accident
Sometimes, it could benefit you to settle your case outside of court instead of filing suit. The benefits of negotiating an out-of-court settlement include the following:
- You save money: Even if your attorney works on a contingency fee, a lawsuit could still cost thousands of dollars. When you settle outside of court, you can avoid paying court costs.
- You save time: A lawsuit could take years to work through the court system — during which you cannot work and have medical bills continue to build. Thus, you might not have time to wait years to receive compensation. Instead, if you settle outside of court, you could receive the compensation you deserve immediately.
- You reduce stress: Going through a lawsuit can put intense pressure on you and your family. The outcome of the case no longer rests in your hands; instead, a jury decides if you will receive compensation and how much.
- You have more privacy: Many aspects of your life become public records when your case goes to court. If your case moves forward to a trial, the public could view all the evidence and other personal information you might not want to be shared. When you settle outside of court, the information stays private.
Although you can sue someone personally for a car accident, it’s beneficial to try to negotiate with the at-fault party before filing a lawsuit against them.
Damages You Could Recover After a Car Accident
When you sustain injuries in a car crash, you should seek compensation from the liable party for all your losses. When someone else’s negligence causes you to deal with injuries, you shouldn’t have to lose out monetarily. So, by ensuring you include all damages in your demand letter, you could get the monetary compensation you need to avoid financial issues because of the accident.
When you start working with your attorney, they can review evidence to determine the economic and noneconomic losses you incurred. Then, they can calculate the value of your recoverable damages. Common recoverable damages car accident victims sustain include the following:
- Medical expenses (current and future)
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
You must prove the crash led to your losses to receive total compensation. However, proving your losses could require you to keep documentation and receipts for everything regarding your injuries. By keeping this information, you can strengthen your case.
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You Must Sue the At-Fault Party Before Your State’s Statute of Limitations Deadline
Each state institutes a statute of limitations. You must file a lawsuit before that deadline ends. Once the deadline passes, the at-fault party could stop negotiating with you if you haven’t filed a lawsuit. Therefore, you must file before the deadline.
Texas law gives you two years to pursue compensation. After two years pass, your opportunity to collect compensation could disappear. Thus, you’ll want to start working on your case immediately to meet the deadline.
If you choose to have a car accident attorney represent you, you must reach out to them as soon as possible. They need time to investigate and build your car accident case. In addition, they can negotiate with the at-fault party to avoid a lawsuit. Finally, they must do all this work before the statutory deadline lapses.
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Contact a Car Accident Attorney For a Free Consultation
If your case presents the need to sue the at-fault driver personally for your car accident damages, you could use help from an attorney. They can walk you through the process to ensure you recover the maximum compensation for your losses. At Loncar Lyon Jenkins, we strive to help our clients get the compensation they deserve after suffering from injuries in a car accident.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. After our meeting, you will have the information you need to proceed with your case. In addition, we can provide advice that allows you to make the most informed decision about whether filing an insurance claim or suing the at-fault driver is the best option for your situation.