When an auto accident attorney meets with car accident victims for the first time, the only thing they are concerned about is getting compensation for their injuries. They don’t care where it comes from as long as they’re fairly compensated. If the other driver was at fault, they should be held responsible. Of course, some of our clients want us to sue the other driver personally. They don’t want to hear about insurance- all they want to do is get justice. At times, it can be difficult for our auto accident attorneys in Atlanta to explain why you can’t personally sue the other driver.
Of course, there are times when your only option is to sue the other driver personally. However, nothing good usually comes of this. Most of the time, the defendant doesn’t have any assets and is unable to pay the judgment. You can wait years before you ever see a dime. Therefore, it’s usually the best option to sue the other driver’s insurance carrier for damages.
You Are Required to File an Insurance Claim Before You Sue
Before you can sue anybody, you have to file your insurance claim. If you were at fault, then it will be your insurance carrier who has to cover any damages sustained in the accident. If the other driver was at fault, then your auto accident attorney in Atlanta will pursue their insurance carrier.
Ideally, your initial auto accident claim will be paid in full and you won’t need to take legal action. No matter how angry you are at the other driver for causing the crash, your goal is to get paid for your injuries. You shouldn’t care where the money comes from-only that you’re fairly compensated for your injuries.
Your Auto Accident Attorney in Atlanta Can Sue if Your Claim is Denied
Of course, if the defendant’s insurance company denies your claim, you may have no choice but to sue. However, when you sue the other driver, your personal injury lawyer in Atlanta will have to name their insurance company in the complaint. This is because the law requires a driver’s auto insurance carrier to represent them in any lawsuits that result from a motor vehicle accident.
You may wonder why your claim would be denied if the other driver was at fault. You would be surprised at how often insurance companies deny auto accident claims. They do this for a variety of reasons, including:
- They believe that you were at fault for the crash
- The insurance adjuster thinks you’re exaggerating your injuries
- The other driver’s policy was cancelled or lapsed for non-payment
- You have a history of filing insurance claims
- Your claim is rather large, and the insurance company thinks they can settle for less later on
Regardless of the reason your claim was denied, the first thing your auto accident attorney in Atlanta will do is file an appeal. If your appeal is successful, you should receive your insurance check in a matter of weeks. Worst case, you’ll receive your money in 30 days. If, however, you need to sue the other driver, it could be months or even years before you see a penny. This is why it’s our goal to negotiate a settlement of your claim before you ever see the inside of a courtroom.
The Defendant’s Insurance Carrier Will Represent Them in Court
As much as you want to personally sue the other driver, you may never see them face to face again. Their insurance company has a team of lawyers that handle any lawsuits filed against their clients. For example, if the person who hit you has GEICO insurance, then GEICO will represent them in a lawsuit. If you win your case, it will be GEICO who pays you.
The only way the other driver will be personally liable for your damages is if you’re awarded a judgment that exceeds their policy limits. This rarely happens. Unless you suffered catastrophic injuries, there’s no reason why their policy limits won’t cover your entire claim.
The Other Driver May Be Personally Liable if They Don’t Have Insurance
Of course, there’s always a chance that the other driver doesn’t have insurance. If this is the case, your personal injury lawyer in Atlanta will have to sue them personally. The problem with this is that the other driver probably doesn’t have any assets. If they don’t have any assets, then your judgment will probably never be paid.
The way our auto accident attorneys in Atlanta see it, the kind of person who drives without insurance is also the kind of person who doesn’t pay their judgments. Unless the defendant decides to sell property down the road or wants to turn over a new leaf, you probably will never be paid. This is why it’s in your best interest to sue the insurance company and not the driver personally.
You’re Better Off Pursuing the Insurance Company Anyway
As indicated above, car accident victims are much better off suing the insurance company than they are the other driver. For one thing, there’s a 95% chance your personal injury lawyer in Atlanta will settle the case before it ever goes to court. If your case does go to trial, it will be at least a year or two before your case goes before a judge. This means you’ll wait all that time without receiving a penny from the defendant. At least if you settle your case, you’ll get a lump sum payment within 30 to 60 days of your settlement.
Come In and Speak with One of Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Atlanta
If you or your loved one were recently involved in a car accident, we recommend that you contact one of our auto accident attorneys in Atlanta today. Take the time to sit down with an experienced attorney who’s handled plenty of cases like yours before. Our associates are not afraid of the big insurance companies and they won’t back down until they’ve resolved your case. Since we do offer our clients a free, initial consultation, you really don’t have anything to lose.