Your main concern after a crash is recovering from the injuries and how to pay the bills. Unfortunately, medical treatments and vehicle damage can be expensive, even in minor accidents. In such cases, you might wonder if you can sue the at-fault driver for damages you incurred. An auto accident attorney in Atlanta will provide you with answers.
Suing someone personally after a car accident is an option, although it is usually unnecessary. This article explores when you can sue someone personally after an accident and the first step you should take before you sue the at-fault driver. We’ll also cover situations where your auto accident attorney in Atlanta would recommend suing someone after a car accident.
Potential Causes of a Motor Vehicle Accident
Below are some potential causes of a car accident:
- Speeding: If the at-fault party was driving beyond the legal limits, it could cause your crash. Speeding significantly reduces reaction time, making it challenging to manage a car on the road.
- Drunk Driving: Driving while intoxicated is entirely illegal in Atlanta. If someone’s drunkenness causes your car accident, you can sue them.
- Distracted Driving: Talking to passengers, looking away from the road, using a cell phone, eating, or drinking can lead to an accident. If someone’s distraction led to your accident, you could sue them to receive compensation.
- Tailgating: Motorists are meant to maintain a safe following distance from the vehicles in front of them. A failure to do this could increase the risk of rear-end collisions.
- Disobeying Traffic Signals: Traffic signals help to regulate the flow of traffic. If a motorist doesn’t obey these signals, it could result in a car accident.
Your First Step: Negotiate With the Insurance Company
While it may be worth it to sue the at-fault driver after a car accident, your first step should be negotiating with the insurance company. Your auto accident attorney will help you deal with the negligent driver’s insurance company to ensure a fair settlement.
You and the insurer might reach a favorable agreement with an experienced car accident lawyer by your side. As a result, you would get the compensation you deserve, closing the case.
However, there are cases when the insurance company refuses to offer a fair payout. If the negotiations aren’t getting you the compensation you need to cover your costs, then you can decide to sue the at-fault driver personally.
An Auto Accident Attorney in Atlanta Explains When to Sue the At-Fault Driver
Choosing to sue the at-fault driver after a car accident is quite a huge step. Going to court can be pretty time-consuming; that’s why the first step is contacting the insurance company. However, suing the at-fault party might get you a more substantial compensation. Therefore, it’s crucial to recognize the ideal time when suing the at-fault driver is the best option.
You’re Not Responsible for the Auto Crash
If you’re looking to sue the at-fault driver after a car accident, you must prove that they were at fault. Some factors that come into play include:
- Breach of Duty of Care: Every driver on the road has a duty of care to other drivers or pedestrians. This means acting in a way that doesn’t put others on the roadway in harm’s way. A breach of duty of care means the responsible party didn’t uphold their obligation.
- Causation: There’s a need to prove that the responsible driver caused the collision that resulted in your injuries and damages.
- Damages: You should also be able to prove that the accident resulted in a monetary loss.
Your auto accident attorney in Atlanta can help you gather evidence.
The Settlement Is Quite Low
Typically, insurance companies will probably offer a low settlement since they’re usually the ones to make payments, not the responsible party. In such a case, you need to look at what the insurance company is offering and if it can cover your damages.
If the amount offered is too low or the compensation isn’t enough to help you fully recover, the best option might be to sue the at-fault driver.
Your Bills Are Too High
The severity of car crashes differs extensively. In cases where the auto accident results in severe injuries, your medical bills could keep increasing. If this is the situation, then the insurance settlement might not be enough to cover the entire cost.
In such cases, consider suing the other driver. First, ensure that you take a long look at the compensation that the insurer is willing to provide. Then compare it with your expected expenses to see if it would cover all present and future costs. If the insurer isn’t reconsidering the settlement, then go to court.
The Driver Is Uninsured
There are cases where the at-fault driver is uninsured. Therefore, there will be no insurance company to file a claim against. You have the right to sue the driver for damages in such situations. However, the problem is that most uninsured drivers don’t have the money or assets to pay compensation. Therefore, even in a case where you win, you might not recover much.
In such a case, it’s ideal to contact an auto accident attorney in Atlanta. We’ll examine your claim and inform you of the next step. We’ll also notify you of the potential outcome if you proceed with the lawsuit. Sometimes, you might have to turn to your insurance company if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
You Have a Time Limit to Sue Someone After a Car Accident in Atlanta
If you decide to sue the at-fault driver after a car accident, you have a limited time to proceed. Georgia Law states that victims have two years after the action occurs to bring their case. Therefore, you must get started as soon as you can.
There are many steps involved in a lawsuit, and you might spend a lot of time waiting. Even if you win the suit against the driver, you might not get all the compensation you deserve. It’s usually a long process that requires the expertise of an attorney.
Our Auto Accident Attorneys in Atlanta Can Help You With Your Claim
If you’re wondering how to get the compensation you deserve after a car accident, contact The Weinstein Firm. With a free consultation, we can thoroughly review your case and determine the best course of action for you. If it involves filing a lawsuit, we’ll assist you every step of the way.
We’ve been assisting accident victims in getting the compensation they deserve for several years. Therefore, we know what it takes to win a case successfully. Contact The Weinstein Firm today to schedule a free case review with our injury attorneys in Atlanta.