After a car accident, you’re probably in pain from your injuries and your wheels are in the repair shop. Invariably, the insurance company will offer you a low settlement and you’re worried about how you’re going to meet your medical and repair bills.
At this point, you’re asking one of two questions: “Can I sue for the car accident?” Or, “Can someone sue me for the car accident?”
In Washington State, there are 3 important car accident laws:
- Duty of Care: Every driver has to exercise reasonable care.
- At-fault State: The driver who causes an accident is responsible for damages.
- Comparative Negligence: Each driver may be partially responsible for an accident.
If the car accident was caused by negligence or reckless behavior, it’s possible to sue the at-fault party personally for losses not covered by insurance.
How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident?
There’s no set limit to how much can be claimed in a car accident lawsuit. The victim is entitled to sue for the full extent of all expenses and losses. This depends on:
- The severity of any injuries.
- The amount of your medical billings, both past, and future.
- The amount of any wage loss.
- Other expenses or losses.
- The cost of property damage.
- The at-fault party’s degree of negligence.
- The value of any insurance policies.
Losses suffered from the car accident extend beyond medical bills and car repair. The victim may be unable to work due to injuries or mental trauma or experience a lower quality of life as a result of the accident. All economic and non-economic losses would form part of the claim.
Factors That Determine How Much You Can Expect from a Settlement
Washington state auto insurance laws require all drivers to carry a minimum of bodily injury protection. This may not be enough to cover all losses and the responsible driver can be sued for the difference. Several crucial factors will influence the settlement amount.
The amount that can be sued will depend on the insurance coverage held by each of the parties involved in the crash. The at-fault party will be accountable for any excess costs associated with personal injuries and property damage.
#2. Medical Expenses
It’s critical to undergo a medical assessment after the crash. Many injuries aren’t immediately apparent. When suing for a car accident injury, all medical expenses incurred are calculated for a fair settlement amount.
#3. Property Damage
Any damage to the cars involved should be covered by the at-fault party’s insurance company, However, the responsible driver’s liability cover may fall short and they can be sued for the difference.
#4. Evidence of Liability
Your lawyer can only sue the other driver on your behalf if you can prove that they were liable and violated their duty of care. If so, then you have a good case for a fair settlement amount.
However, if you were responsible, or partially responsible, then you need to know what to do if someone sues you for a car accident. Some of your medical costs may be covered by insurance, but you can be held personally liable for the other party’s settlement not covered by insurance.
Never admit liability at the accident scene or afterward – this may be used against you in subsequent litigation.
#5. Ability to Work
Suing after a car accident for lost income is usually fairly easy to prove. If someone has sustained personal injuries, they may be off work for some time.
It becomes more complicated if an accident victim is so badly hurt that they are unable to work again. Then they can sue for car accident injury and loss of future income.
FAQs – Car Accident Lawsuit
Q: Am I only entitled to my medical bills in a car accident lawsuit?
A: If you were not at fault, then you are entitled to claim for all your out-of-pocket expenses that are not covered by insurance
Q: What if I was partially at fault?
A: Each party is assigned a relative percentage fault and a claim adjustment is calculated on this apportionment of liability.
Q: Does the car insurance company pay the settlement or verdict?
A: If the at-fault party is fully insured, their insurance company will pay. However, if the responsible driver doesn’t have liability insurance or is underinsured, they have to settle the claim themselves.
Coluccio Law has a proven track record with car accidents and personal injury lawsuits. We’ll handle every detail of your case with precision and care. Contact us today for expert legal advice and assistance.