Car crash victims incur medical bills due to their injuries, but there are other unexpected costs associated with an accident as well. As vehicle repairs and other expenses begin to add up, crash victims may start to wonder who they can sue to recover compensation for their damages.
Indiana is an at-fault state. This means you pursue compensation from the party who caused the collision. This could vary depending on the type of accident you were involved in. For example, a multiple vehicle accident could mean more than one at-fault party.
Our South Bend car crash attorneys discuss what parties may be sued for causing your injuries and other damages.
Do I Sue the Driver or the Insurance Company After a Crash?
When another driver causes a collision that injures you, one of the first steps in the legal process is to file an insurance claim with his or her liability insurance company. At this point, the insurance company is stepping into the shoes of the at-fault driver. It is important to understand that a lawsuit is not usually filed at this point.
Since Indiana is an at-fault state, every driver is required to carry at least $25,000 of bodily injury liability insurance and $25,000 of property damage liability insurance. A lot of drivers carry higher liability insurance limits in case of a serious accident.
Once the claim is filed, the insurance company will investigate the accident and determine whether the claim should be paid out, and for how much. They may also determine that they are not liable for your damages, so they may deny your claim. Your attorney can help through this process. For instance, he or she can provide compelling evidence that the policyholder is liable for the crash and that the insurance company should pay for the damages you suffered.
If the insurance company denies your claim or refuses to pay the full extent of your damages, then your attorney can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Once again, the liability insurance company steps into the driver’s shoes and hires an attorney to defend its stance.
Generally, it is a good idea to work with an attorney from the beginning of the insurance claim process. However, it may not be too late to hire a lawyer if your claim is denied, or if you have not accepted a settlement offer.
Can I Sue Multiple Drivers For a Single Accident?
There are some scenarios when an accident victim may be able to sue more than one driver for damages.
The first is in the case of a multi-vehicle accident when more than one driver is at fault. For example, if two vehicles merge into the same lane and end up causing a multi-vehicle pileup on a roadway, the victims of that accident may be able to sue the two merging drivers.
It is important to point out that not all multi-vehicle collisions have multiple at-fault drivers. Most of the time, vehicle pileups are caused by the negligence of a single driver.
Injured passengers may also be able to sue multiple drivers if they are injured in a two-vehicle collision where both drivers share fault. Since they are passengers, they do not bear any liability, so the laws of comparative negligence would not apply to them.
Can I Sue My Own Insurance Company After a Crash?
Due to the at-fault insurance laws in Indiana, accident victims usually do not need to deal with their own insurance company after a crash. However, this is not always the case.
There are some instances when accident victims may need to file a claim with their own insurance company. For example, in the case of a hit-and-run accident. If the insurer does not cooperate, he or she may be able to sue the insurance company for bad faith practices.
When insurance companies act in bad faith, it means they deny valid claims or delay communications without good reason.
It is important to note that your insurance company will only cover your damages from an accident if you have certain coverage add-ons, like Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) or Medical Payments (MedPay) coverages.
If you only have liability insurance, you cannot file a claim with your own insurance company for an accident caused by someone else.
What Other Parties May I Sue After a Car Crash in Indiana?
In some car accident cases, the victim may be able to sue other parties who bear fault for the collision.
For example, if you are injured in an accident caused by an employee who was on the clock at the time of the collision. In this case, you would sue the driver’s employer who is vicariously liable for his or her employee’s negligent actions.
Accident victims who are injured by negligent teen drivers may be able to sue the teen’s parents. It is important to note that teens are usually on the same insurance plans as their parents. This means you should follow the same process as any other type of accident claim.
If you were injured in an accident caused by someone borrowing a car, you may be able to sue the owner of the vehicle involved in the collision. However, if the vehicle was stolen, you may not be able to sue the car owner unless his or her negligent actions made it easy to have the car taken without permission. For example, leaving a running vehicle unattended.
Need Help Filing a Lawsuit? Call Us Today
Every accident case is different, so it is difficult to determine all legal avenues without knowing all the facts. That is why you should strongly consider seeking help from our experienced attorneys.
We offer a free consultation to discuss what legal options may be available to you after a crash. There are also no hourly fees associated with our services. You only pay us when we recover compensation for you.
Call (844) 678-1800 today to learn more.