Sargent records several car accidents every year. Many vehicles collide with each other leading to devastating injuries and death. Sargent car accident attorneys help these wounded parties recover compensation for their losses. This is because Georgia is a fault-accident state. So, the responsible party bears the losses of an accident.
The law also gives you the right to file an accident lawsuit. Conversely, you may file an insurance claim with the fault party’s insurer. In rare cases, though, you may have the right to sue an insurance company directly. Whatever the case, it’ll be best to hire a car accident lawyer. An experienced attorney will know whether you can sue an insurer and when.
Can I Sue an Insurance Company After a Car Accident?
No, you ordinarily cannot sue an insurance company. Instead, you may only file a lawsuit against a policyholder. The rationale for this restriction is pretty clear too. Injured victims cannot sue the third-party insurance company because they aren’t party to the insurance contract. The insurance company only has a contract with the policyholder.
So, you can only proceed against the insured fault party. Then, this fault driver provides your damages from their insurance company. This is known as the doctrine of privity of contract. This doctrine prevents third parties from suing to benefit from contracts they aren’t signatories to. Fortunately, there are exceptions to this general rule.
Georgia’s Direct Action Statute
One exception to the doctrine of privity is Georgia’s direct action statute. This law allows injured parties to sue the fault party’s insurer directly. However, you only have this legal right in limited cases. Georgia’s direct action allows an injured person to join the motor carrier and its insurer in a lawsuit.
Furthermore, you have this right whether your claim arises in tort or contract. So, after a collision, it’s crucial to get the at-fault driver’s insurance details. This would include the insurer’s contact and the driver’s policy number.
Reasons for the Direct Action Statute
Notably, direct action statutes become necessary when the fault party is bankrupt or insolvent. Here, without suing the insurer, claiming the judgment debt may be impossible. The law thus allows you to join the insurer to make judgment recovery easier.
In addition, commercial vehicle companies often use the services of insurance companies while hiring drivers. Some insurers are involved in the hiring, screening, and training of commercial vehicle drivers. Therefore, if they negligently perform these activities, they’ll rightly share the blame.
Who Is a Motor Carrier?
Clearly, this statute applies to motor carriers and their insurers. Motor carriers are entities defined by the Commissioner or Commissioner of Public Safety as people who operate or control commercial motor vehicles. Therefore, only accidents with commercial vehicles will benefit from this law. These would include commercial buses, trucks, etc. Sadly, you cannot directly sue a private driver’s insurer.
Who Can I Sue?
The import of this law is that you can join the insurer as a party to your accident lawsuit. So, you can sue either the at-fault driver or their insurer. Conversely, you can sue both parties together, alongside other liable parties.
Furthermore, the law also allows you to inform the jury that the insurance company is a party to your suit. This then informs the jury that the insurer can cover any awards although the defendant is bankrupt. Ordinarily, juries grant awards without this external influence.
Recoverable Damages in a Direct Action Claim
Notably, direct action doesn’t affect your recoverable damages. You can still recover the same compensation you’d get with a regular lawsuit. This would include compensatory damages and other damages. So, you can recover your medical bills, the cost of vehicle repairs, and even future medical costs. Suppose you lost any property; you can also get compensation for such losses. The presence of the insurer even solidifies your chances of getting the money you deserve.
Let Sargent Car Accident Lawyers Represent You Against Insurance Companies
Have you survived a Sargent car accident? Then, you may be eligible for compensation. This is because the fault driver will bear the financial and non-economic losses you sustain from the collision. Do you think the fault driver is bankrupt or insolvent? If so, you can also sue their insurance company.
First, however, you’ll need the best Sargent car accident lawyers. At The Weinstein Firm, we have just the right attorneys for your case. Our lawyers have spent years handling car accident claims. We’ve also dealt with several insurance companies. In the process, we’ve secured millions of dollars for our clients. So, call us today to start pursuing your car accident claim.