What If the Person Who Caused My Injury Is a Family Member or Friend?
Accidents and injuries are difficult enough to deal with when the person who caused them is a stranger. But what about when it’s a friend or family member? Can you sue them, or should you? What are your other options?
Reluctance in Seeking Damages from a Loved One
If someone you care about is the person responsible for your injuries in an accident, you may be reluctant to take action against them. You may not want to put a strain on your relationship or you may believe it was just a mistake and they’re sorry for it. They may beg you not to sue because they don’t have any money or they don’t want their insurance rates to go up. There are many reasons you may not want to seek compensation for your injuries.
But you may not have a choice. Accidents can be extremely expensive. The costs of property damage, medical care, rehabilitation, and prescription drugs can be financially devastating, running into the tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the accident. If you don’t make a claim against the person who’s responsible for the accident, you will be responsible for making sure these bills get paid.
Examining Your Options
In most cases, you won’t be recovering damages from your friend or family member directly, but from their insurance. Auto insurance covers bodily damage and property damage in motor vehicle accidents, while homeowner’s insurance has liability coverage for things like slip and fall accidents. If the claim results in a pay out, it may (and probably will) lead to higher premiums for your loved one, but this amount is nowhere near what they would owe you if they had to pay out of pocket. As long as the party responsible has standard insurance coverage, you can recover damages from their insurance company directly rather than sue them. This should make you feel more confident about seeking compensation for your injuries.
What if your friend or family member isn’t insured? Then you will have to look at other options. For example, in the case of automobile accidents, you may be able to recover compensation from the uninsured motorist and/or underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy. Depending on the nature of the accident and the type of insurance you carry, you may be able to make claims against your own policies. However, if these aren’t viable options, you may have to consider bringing a civil suit against your friend or family member.
Call The Carolina Law Group
Whether you’ve sustained injury in a motor vehicle accident, a slip and fall accident, from a dog bite, or some other accident that’s the fault of a friend or family member, you should speak to an attorney. The personal injury attorneys at The Carolina Law Group can help you get the compensation you need and are entitled to while helping you navigate the difficult situation you’re in. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with the personal injury lawyers by calling one of the numbers below today.
The Carolina Law Group has four offices in upstate South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), West Greenville (864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), and Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.757.5555). Call today.