After a car accident, it is a very stressful and difficult time. It usually takes weeks to settle a claim with an insurance company. Victims are also busy trying to get their cars fixed as they search for information, not to mention recovering from any injuries. A question many people often ask is whether or not they should sue after a car accident. There are several factors that you should consider when deciding.
The first thing you must do in order to sue is establish that the other driver was at fault for the accident. This means that you need to be able to prove in court that the negligence of the other driver or a third party caused the accident and the resulting damage. This is usually done during a claims process with the involved insurance companies. All parties (drivers, witnesses, passengers, and other parties including law enforcement) involved in the crash will explain to the insurance companies the details about how the accident happened, the names of everyone involved, and the resulting damages.
The case will be assigned to an insurance adjuster who will work with the other driver’s insurance company to determine who is at fault. Generally, this is where we see disputes arise between the parties involved. Insurance companies want to pay as little money as possible, so adjusters will attempt to shift the blame. In some cases, the fault will lie clearly with the other party, but it is usually complicated.
When You Should Sue
Sometimes an insurance company will try to avoid their client being held at fault for an accident in order to avoid paying a large settlement. If you believe that the other driver could be clearly determined at fault, but the insurance companies cannot agree and they are holding up the settlement, you have the option to sue. This will definitively establish fault and help you recover damages.
Usually, however, fault can be established. Once the other party has been determined at fault, there is still the option for you to sue. Most of the time, you will only want to sue if you are being offered a settlement from the other insurance company that is too low to cover your damages. After calculating your property damages, loss of income, medical expenses, and emotional pain and suffering, you can determine if an offer is sufficient. An accident lawyer can help you figure out if a lawsuit would help you recover more money than the offer.
You also can sue for wrongful death of a family member if there were factors in the accident that made the offense particularly egregious, like drugs or alcohol. You can furthermore sue for potential punitive damages in these cases. As a general rule, if you think that you are not offered sufficient compensation for your damages, you have the option to sue. It is best to discuss your case with a professional in order to decide.
At Van Sant Law,, we can help you decide how to handle your car accident. David Van Sant has a long history of helping victims find their way after injuries have occurred. Call Van Sant Law today or fill out our online contact form and we will get in touch with you. Above all, don’t wait. Take action today while there’s still time to seek compensation and justice.