If you were hurt in a car accident that your friend or family member caused, you may decide to sue them. Ultimately, your decision to sue your friend or family member boils down to whether they caused the accident, your relationship with them, and whether you’re willing to change the dynamics of your relationship by suing them.
Plus, suing a friend or family member isn’t always as bad as it sounds. Though your lawsuit is filed directly against your loved one, their insurance company typically pays you damages. So, when you sue your friend or family member, it’s possible that none of the money you recover will come out of their pocket.
You can also work with a Boca Raton car accident lawyer who can guide you in your pursuit of fair compensation. They may also have some advice about how to make suing someone you know less uncomfortable.
Can You Sue a Friend or Family Member to Recover Compensation After a Car Accident?
The short answer is yes, you can sue a friend or family member for damages you or someone you love suffered because of a car accident. If your friend or family member is at fault for the accident, they are liable for your injuries and subsequent financial losses.
Just because it’s your friend or family member who is at fault, it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve compensation. When you sue, their insurance company generally pays for your damages.
Considering that many cases can be settled once the insurance company pays you, there may not be any hard feelings between you and the person you’re suing.
Should You Talk to Your Friend or Family Member About the Lawsuit?
Approaching your friend or family member about a lawsuit you are filing to recover compensation can be a touchy subject. However, you should remind the person you’re suing that their insurance provider should be covering all the costs, not them. Any compensation you recover from the insurer will not come out of your friend or family member’s pocket.
You can also let them know that you have a personal injury lawyer handling your case, putting less pressure on you, your friends, and your family. When an attorney handles the case, it can make filing a lawsuit against someone you know feel less personal.
What Damages Could a Lawyer Recover for You After a Car Accident?
If you or someone you love suffers injuries and financial expenses because of a car accident, your lawyer may be able to recover economic damages and non-economic damages after assessing your case. For instance, a personal injury lawyer from our firm could pursue damages such as:
- Medical treatment costs
- Lost income and benefits
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Home modifications
- Property damage
- Household services
- Child care
- Mental anguish
- Lost quality of life
Your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage should kick in after an accident to cover your damages up to your coverage cap regardless of who is at fault for the accident. However, any remaining damages may be recovered via a personal injury lawsuit.
How Can a Lawyer Help You Sue a Friend or Family Member After a Car Accident?
A lawyer understands the legal process and how it works, so you have a guide through every step. Your lawyer can handle your case for you, so you don’t have to carry the burden or stress. Since this involves a friend or family member, a lawyer can also navigate the process carefully to prevent damage to your relationships.
Again, this is about recovering compensation from their insurance provider. To build a strong case for compensation, we will:
- Investigate the accident
- Identify the liable party
- Collect evidence of the auto accident
- Determine the value of your claim
- Negotiate a settlement with the insurer
- Provide you with regular updates
- File a lawsuit and represent you in court
- Work on a contingency-fee basis so you pay nothing unless we win
- Meet all deadlines, including the statute of limitations
Filing a lawsuit against a family member or friend may seem unreasonable, but it’s better than paying for your expenses out of your own pocket. A lawyer from our firm is ready to discuss your case with you and assist you in a way that keeps the peace between you and your loved ones.
You Have a Limited Amount of Time to File a Personal Injury Case Against Someone You Know
As with any personal injury lawsuit, you must adhere to the filing deadlines in your state. Each state sets a statute of limitations that explains how long you have to submit a lawsuit. In Florida, you generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit, per Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(a).
If you’re filing in Massachusetts, you typically have three years to file, according to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 260 § 2A.
Though you may feel awkward about suing someone you have a personal relationship with, don’t wait too long to get started on your case. With plenty of time, a personal injury attorney can help you collect evidence that allows you to seek the money you need.
Learn More About Suing Your Friend or Family Member After a Car Accident Today
You have the right to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for damages you or someone you love suffers as a result of a car accident. Even if it’s your friend or family member who caused the accident, they are the at-fault party, which means they owe you compensation.
A car accident attorney from Ged Lawyers can help you seek a fair settlement without putting your personal relationships on the line. Get started on your case today with a free initial consultation. We can offer legal advice and explain how accident lawsuits work.