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Auto Accidents Resources
- Find Car Accident Lawyers - Auto Accident Attorney Locator
- Loss Categories in Auto Accidents: Damages, Injuries, Disability & Death
- How to File a Lawsuit for Medical Expenses After a Car Accident
- How Attorneys Arrive at Settlements in Auto Accident Cases
- Does Seatbelt Use Affect Liability & Damages?
- When Recalled Autos & Manufacturer Defects Cause Accidents
- More Auto Accidents Articles
Proving Liability And Who To Sue if Injured In A Car Accident
If you've been seriously injured in a car accident that was someone else's fault, you're probably wondering whom to sue to get justly compensated for your pain and suffering. The answer: It depends on the circumstances surrounding your accident. This article will provide general information on whom to sue.
Proving Car Accident Liability
Auto accidents are caused by many things. Determining who is negligent may not be so obvious.
The first person to possibly fault for your car crash is the other driver. All states within the United States require drivers to carry liability insurance, which would cover all or some of the costs associated with injuries stemming from a car accident if the other driver was at fault.
If the person responsible for your accident does not carry liability insurance, you can sue that individual. A judge could order the guilty party's assets confiscated to cover damages.
One could also sue the insurance company if the carrier refuses to cover costs stemming from your injury.
Most states also have owner's liability statutes. Under these laws, you can sue the owner of a car even if they weren't driving.
For example, under the "Vicarious Liability" theory you can sue both the driver and the car's owner.
If the state you live in does not allow you to sue the car's owner on the premise of vicarious liability, you could probably sue him under the "Negligent Entrustment" theory. Essentially, a lawyer could claim that the act of letting one drive your car was negligent, or careless.
If you were struck by a company-owned vehicle, the company-in addition to the driver-could be held accountable for your injury. This applies if the driver was using the vehicle for job-related driving. If a driver was using a company car for personal use, then the company cannot be sued.
If a car accident was caused because of a defective automobile, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the car manufacturer.
Some state laws may also let you sue the state officials and departments responsible for maintaining roads. A person could claim the accident was caused in part because of the improper construction or repair of roads, bridges or overpasses.
If your car accident was caused by a domesticated animal running loose, you could sue the owner. Note that if the accident was your fault, the owner may sue you.
Most insurance companies will automatically cover costs associated with car accidents involving a wild animal, such as a deer or fox.
When to Hire a Lawyer
If you've been injured in an auto accident and are considering filing a lawsuit, contact a personal injury lawyer. An attorney can assess your case and determine if you stand a chance of winning compensation. The lawyer could also outline a legal strategy for your case.
There may be a statute of limitations regarding the time you have to file a car accident lawsuit in your state. So don't delay and preserve your right to sue.