In almost all car accident cases, the person who caused the accident has auto insurance. If the greedy insurance company is not willing to settle your case for a fair amount, the next step is to file a lawsuit.
Who Do You Sue?
Whether the at-fault driver has car insurance or not, you MUST file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver directly. You cannot file your initial lawsuit against the negligent driver’s insurance company.
This is a common misconception. Many feel that a lawsuit should be filed against the insurance company since they are the ones who are refusing to negotiate. However, the law does not allow for an injured victim to file a lawsuit against the insurance company for the initial claim for injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering.
Filing a lawsuit is not an everyday occurrence for the average person. Furthermore, there are several overlapping laws that determine liability, insurance requirements, and other issues that many may find confusing. Nonetheless, if you are injured in a car accident and the insurance company is refusing to make a fair offer, the stakes are high. You are probably missing time from work. Your bills are piling up. You may now have considerable medical expenses that you cannot afford to pay. Not only are you recovering, but now you are worried about looming debt.
In this article, we will discuss how to file a claim or a lawsuit against a negligent driver.
What About The Insurance Company?
The law requires that all drivers carry automotive liability insurance. Your insurance company indemnifies you from accident claims. This is a fancy legal term that means that they assume liability on your behalf. So, if you are involved in a traffic accident with another driver, your first order of business is to get their insurance information and file a claim.
The insurance company processes the claim. They investigate what happened during the accident, analyzing their options, determine if their policyholder was responsible, collect information concerning your property damage and medical expenses and then, in a perfect world, cut you a check that covers all your damages.
Insurance Company May Not Make a Fair Offer
However, insurance companies are for-profit businesses that do not always represent the best interests of injured parties or even their own policyholders. This is why injured drivers hire attorneys to litigate their claims and file lawsuits.
Just because you file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver does not mean the insurance company is off the hook – or that the at-fault driver has to pay the verdict. As discussed above, in nearly every car accident, the at-fault driver has car insurance. Even if a lawsuit is filed against the negligent driver, their insurance company will hire an attorney to represent them. Further, the insurance company will pay for any settlement or verdict. The insurance company is effectively like the puppet-master in the background. They are pulling all the strings. However, the lawsuit looks like one person is suing another person.
Where Do I File My Lawsuit?
Whether you are suing another person for injuries sustained in a car accident, a medical malpractice case or a wrongful death case, the lawsuit must be filed in the proper county. You cannot file one of the above-listed lawsuits, in the county that you live in, generally speaking. You must file the lawsuit in the county in which the at-fault driver lives – currently. It does not matter where you or the negligent driver were living at the time of the collision. It matters where the at-fault driver is living at the time you file the lawsuit. So be sure to research and confirm where the negligent driver is living before you file your lawsuit. Do not trust the address that it on the police report – people move or fail to update their driver’s license all the time.
Jurors and Lawsuits
In most car accident trials across the United States, the at-fault driver has auto-insurance, but the jury will never know that. Jurors may feel sorry for the at-fault driver because they think he or she will have to pay the verdict. But the insurance company is paying for everything: the at-fault driver’s attorneys, the court costs, and the verdict.
Talk to a Georgia Insurance Attorney Today
If the insurance company tries to blame you for an accident you know is their driver’s fault or offers you a settlement that does not compensate you for the full value of your damages, the attorneys at Georgia Trial Attorneys can litigate your claim and force the insurance company to pay up. Call today for a free consultation.