About six million car crashes occur in the US annually. Though crashes are common, not many people know how to react afterward.
After a car accident, do you sue the driver or car insurance company? Do you need to hire a car accident lawyer? What if you sustained a serious car accident injury?
Before you file a car accident lawsuit, read this guide. You can determine how to proceed before building your car accident case. Otherwise, you might make a hasty decision after a reckless driving accident.
Keep reading to learn more about what to do after you’re in a car crash!
After a car accident, do you sue the driver or insurance company? First, you’ll need to determine liability. Who was at fault for the accident?
Immediately after your car crash, it’s important to gather evidence.
Ask the other driver for their name, phone number, and email address. Get information about their car, too. That includes their driver’s license number, insurance information, and car make/model.
Next, take a look at the scene. Take pictures or record videos. Physical evidence is essential.
Get images of the cars as well as your injuries. Take a look around and get footage of the surrounding area, too.
Did someone witness the crash? Get their contact information. A witness statement could make a big difference in your case.
Make sure to call the police to report the crash. You’ll need an official police statement for your case.
The evidence you gather can prove you’re innocent. It can also show the at-fault party’s insurance company they can’t weasel their way out of paying damages.
Once you gather this evidence, contact a car accident lawyer right away. They’ll use the evidence you gathered to prove you weren’t at fault.
Negotiating With the Insurance Company
Don’t rush to file a car accident lawsuit just yet! Instead, make sure you have an experienced South Carolina car accident attorney injury lawyer at your side. They can help you settle the case outside of court.
Let your car accident attorney handle negotiations with the insurance company. Don’t try to negotiate alone. Negotiating with an insurance company alone could cause you to make costly mistakes.
They could trick you into accepting less than you deserve. They might use what you say against you, too.
Your lawyer will gather the evidence they need before presenting it to the insurance company. In addition to proving fault, they’ll also calculate your losses. These can include:
- Medical bills and treatments
- Pain and suffering
- Property damages
- Lost wages/time missed at work
Your lawyer will total this sum to present as the first settlement offer. Then, negotiations will begin.
When to Sue the Driver
You can sue the car insurance company directly. If you choose1 this route, you’ll see the at-fault driver and their insurance company. The insurance company will then help the driver pay for any damages.
The at-fault driver won’t have to pay for your medical bills and other damages out-of-pocket.
What if the driver doesn’t have car insurance? In these instances, the situation is a little messier.
You can sue the driver for the reckless driving accident directly. If they’re not insured, they likely don’t have the assets or finances to pay you back. Even if you win, you might not collect your winnings.
How do you tell when to sue the driver directly? Usually, it’s a case of personal preference. You could end up with a larger settlement.
However, that’s not always the case.
Take the time to consult your car accident lawyer. They’ll help you determine the best option for your case. Otherwise, here are a few instances when you should sue the driver.
1. You’re Not at Fault
If you weren’t at fault for the reckless driving accident, file a car accident lawsuit and fight for your rights. You can sue the driver for the damages you suffered. You can also make sure you receive the fair compensation you deserve.
If you were at fault, however, you might want to avoid filing a car accident lawsuit.
Prepare to have a car accident attorney handy, just in case.
2. The Settlement is Too Low
Car crashes cost the US $871 billion every year.
Did you sustain a car accident injury? You could end up missing work. How much did you lose in medical expenses, property damage, and lost work in total?
The insurance company will try to give you the lowest settlement total possible. They’ll feel reluctant to give you the amount you deserve. If the settlement offer seems too low, contact a car accident attorney injury lawyer.
Your lawyer will determine how much you lost as a result of the car accident. They won’t let the car insurance company get away with a lowball offer. Instead, they’ll fight for what you deserve.
3. Your Bills Are Too High
Take a look at your medical bills and other expenses. Is the projected insurance settlement enough to cover your losses? If not, consider hiring a Columbia personal injury attorney.
Go to court and fight for the money you’re due. The money you receive from the settlement can cover your losses. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket for a crash that wasn’t your fault.
Look for a car accident attorney who has experience with cases like yours. Make sure to bring them the evidence you gathered. They’ll consider the details of your case and help you determine the best course of action.
Make Your Case: After a Car Accident, Do You Sue the Driver or Car Insurance Company?
To recap, after a car accident, do you sue the driver or car insurance company? It often depends on the details surrounding your car accident case. If you’re not sure what to do, contact a car accident lawyer right away.
They’ll help you file a lawsuit for a reckless driving accident.
With help from a South Carolina personal injury attorney, you can receive compensation for your injuries.
Do you have a case? We’re here to help.
At Burriss and Ridgeway, we have the experience, compassion, and knowledge to help you fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve. If you have been seriously injured in a reckless driving accident, please reach out.
We can help you determine if you should sue the driver or car insurance company and how to file your claim.
Book a free consultation with our team today.
We serve the entire state of South Carolina with offices in the Midlands in Lexington, Orangeburg, and Columbia.