Depending upon the circumstances of a car accident, a lawsuit may be initiated. No Fault states will need to meet certain criteria and an experienced accident attorney can help with this.

Legal action after car accidents.

Car accidents leading to legal action occur all too often in the United States. Even though a notable reduction has occurred in the 20th century, more than 32,000 people are killed and 2 million are injured in motor vehicle accidents annually.  Actions that follow car accidents include insurance settlements based on policy limitations and coverages; and lawsuits, depending upon the ability to prove negligence in alignment with the pertinent laws of the state where the accident occurred.  After seeking emergent medical attention and securing the accident site, a victim may think about suing the other driver for damages, but be aware that each state has unique steps to follow to collect damages. There are twelve “no fault” states in America where it is unusual for a driver to sue.  They include: Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York,  North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Utah.

No fault states.

If you live in one of these twelve states and get into a no-fault car accident, you won’t be permitted to file a civil lawsuit against the responsible driver unless your injuries fall within that particular state’s definition of “serious.” Otherwise, you must file a claim with your own insurer and the claim will be paid, up to the policy limits, from your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Typically, this means you will recover compensation only for medical bills and lost wages, and not for pain and suffering or emotional distress, unless the injuries you sustained were serious.  Contact an experienced attorney to help with any insurance or legal actions necessary for you to secure damages after a car accident.

Fault states.

Alternately, at fault states usually allow lawsuits against the fault driver when the personal injuries meet certain thresholds to include a certain dollar amount connected to a severe personal injury determined by a doctor to be serious and they vary by state. In most states, this means that the injury must involve the loss of use of a body part, disfigurement, bone fracture or permanent disability. Some states feature both, so you can sue if the claim meets either standard.  If a victim wants to file a lawsuit against another driver, they must be seen by a medical professional to determine that injuries are serious enough, or prove that medical costs and lost wages are above a certain dollar amount to warrant filing a suit.

Drivers commonly sue each other when:

A driver has no insurance.  If a driver does not have car insurance, or didn’t at the time of the accident, then the other driver has no way to recover costs without suing.  This is a very common cause of a car accident lawsuit.

Insurance amounts are not enough to cover medical costs of injuries even if they are enough to pay for property damage.  When this happens, insurance will not pay the victim the amount necessary to cover their damages forcing them to file a lawsuit.

The process is dragged out.  Many drivers will try the insurance claim process first, but if it doesn’t get them results, they will turn to a lawsuit.  This is especially true if the statute of limitations is running out.

Lawsuits are common.

Lawsuits are common and they are often resolved through insurance or with a settlement accident victims can live with.  Just because a driver is sued does not mean they will have to pay, but legal action should be taken seriously and an experienced professional attorney is your best option for a quick resolution between car accident parties.