Most people assume they can sue the other driver’s insurance company after their car accident. However, this is not always the case. Your Fairburn car accident attorney may have to sue the other driver directly.
Here, we will discuss which parties need to be named in your lawsuit. We will also explain how the laws in Georgia work when it comes to suing insurance companies.
Normally, Your Fairburn Accident Attorney Cannot Sue the Insurance Company Directly
In many states, you cannot sue the other driver’s insurance company directly. Instead, you would have to sue the other driver and hope that their insurance carrier defends them. This can make it harder to recover damages.
The rationale behind this rule is that the insurance company has a contract with the other driver – not you. Therefore, you don’t have a contractual right to sue them. However, in Georgia the law is different. Georgia makes a few exceptions to this rule.
Georgia Law §40-2-140 Makes an Exception for Motor Carriers
Georgia law doesn’t allow you to sue the insurance company directly in all cases. However, OCGA §40-2-140 states that you can sue the insurance company if the other driver was a motor carrier.
A motor carrier would include things like buses, tractor-trailers, and commercial vehicles. For example, if a tour bus hit you on I-85 in Fairburn, you will likely suffer devastating injuries. You would be able to sue the tour bus company’s insurance carrier directly.
There Are Other Exceptions to This Rule as Well
The motor carrier exception is important. However, there is one other case in which your Fairburn accident attorney can sue the insurance carrier directly.
If the insurance company acted in bad faith when they denied your claim, you can sue them directly. The problem is that your car accident lawyer in Fairburn will need to prove bad faith.
Your Car Accident Lawyer in Fairburn Can Always Sue the Other Driver Personally
Regardless of whether you can sue the insurance company, your car accident lawyer in Fairburn will sue the other driver. You would name the driver and any other potential defendants in your complaint.
Some of the other parties your Fairburn accident attorney needs to join in your lawsuit include the following:
- The manufacturer of the defendant’s vehicle
- The body shop that worked on the other driver’s car
- The drivers of any other vehicles involved in the crash
- The defendant’s employer if they were driving a company car.
Of course, the facts of every car accident case are different. There’s no way we can list all potential defendants here. Your Fairburn accident attorney will make sure they sue all possible parties.
You Would Have to Sue the Defendant Directly if They Didn’t Have Insurance
Essentially, unless the defendant was driving a bus or other motor carrier, you’ll need to sue the defendant directly. You would have to do this anyway if the other driver didn’t have insurance. If that were the case, you’d be limited to whatever assets the other driver had.
Of course, your lawyer will try to get the insurance company to pay your claim first. Filing a suit is a last resort. If the other driver’s insurance carrier pays your claim, you won’t need to take legal action. However, odds are, you hired a car accident lawyer in Fairburn because your claim was already denied.
The Defendant’s Insurance Company Will Likely Have to Defend Them in the Lawsuit
While you may not be able to sue the insurance company directly, all is not lost. The defendant’s insurance carrier will probably be required to represent them in the lawsuit. They will also have to cover any damages you are awarded in court.
The only way to know for sure if the insurance company will be required to defend the other driver is to look at their policy. Unless the policy specifically excludes the duty to represent the defendant in a motor vehicle accident, you should be fine.
Your Fairburn Accident Attorney Doesn’t Care Where the Money Comes From
At the end of the day, your car accident lawyer in Fairburn doesn’t really care where the money comes from. They are going to try to negotiate a settlement of your case from the start. It’s a lot cheaper and faster to settle your case rather than go to trial.
Knowing that the insurance company will have to defend the other driver, it makes sense to settle. There is little chance the other driver will have enough assets to pay a settlement. The good news is that the insurance company has extremely deep pockets.
You shouldn’t care where the money comes from. Your goal is to resolve the matter and get compensation for your injuries. Whether the other driver or their insurance carrier pays the settlement should not matter.
Your Attorney’s Goal is to Get You as Much Money as Possible
Your Fairburn accident attorney does not care who pays your settlement. You may have sued two or three different parties. As long as one of them pays your settlement, it doesn’t matter what the other defendants do.
This is one of the benefits of suing multiple parties. If the other driver’s insurance policy doesn’t cover the full settlement amount, you can look to the driver for the remainder.
The Various Defendants Can Always Combine Their Resources to Settle Your Lawsuit
The good news is that if you do sue more than one defendant, they could always work together to settle the case. For example, imagine that you filed a lawsuit and demanded $750,000 in damages. Your car accident lawyer in Fairburn negotiated a settlement for $500,000.
In this example, Defendant A could pay $250,000 and Defendant B can pay the other $250,000. You’ll get your full amount and neither defendant will have to bear the burden of the entire settlement. In a way, everybody wins.
There’s a Very Good Chance Your Car Accident Lawyer in Fairburn Will Settle Your Case
As you can see, your car accident lawsuit can become quite complicated. This is one of the reasons you should retain a Fairburn injury lawyer. They are familiar with the law. They also know how to deal with big insurance companies.
We suggest you call our office today and schedule your free, initial consultation.