Who Is the Guilty Party?

If you've been hurt through no fault of your own in a car accident, you might be considering taking legal action. You can be paid for certain forms of damage if you can prove that you were harmed by the actions of another driver. Knowing who the responsible party is in specific situations can be confusing, at times, however. Read on and find out who might be the target of your legal actions after you've been harmed by someone else's actions on the road.

Who To Sue: Insurer or Driver?

If you've been hit by another driver, you might automatically hold the other driver responsible. As long as you are certain that you were in no way at-fault for the wreck, you might be compensated by the other driver. However, it's far more likely that you will be compensated by their automobile insurance policy. Only in cases where the driver has more financial resources than insurance coverage would you pursue a case against them personally. If they were not insured, you might be able to take the following actions to ensure you are paid:

  1. Speak to a lawyer and file a lawsuit against the driver.
  2. Have a judge freeze their assets like bank accounts.
  3. Impose a lien on their real estate holdings.
  4. Garnish their wages if you win the case.

Was a Third Party Responsible?

You might be surprised at how often someone other than the obvious party is at fault for an accident. Taking the example of the car accident above, the other side might be able to show that the driver's brakes failed and caused them to hit you. If true, you would need to sue the carmaker or brake manufacturer in addition to, or instead of, the other driver. Accidents can also involve other vehicles. When more than two vehicles are involved in a wreck, there is always a chance of cross-suits and counter-suits. For example, the other driver might allege that they were pushed into you when hit by another driver. This type of situation is very complex and you will need a personal injury lawyer's help to sort things out.

Take Steps to Secure Your Claim

These actions will help you get compensated for your damages no matter who was liable for the harm done to you:

  1. Seek medical treatment right away. Don't wait or minimize your injuries. No case is possible without proof of physical injuries.
  2. Never speak to an insurance representative from the other side. You can, however, report an accident to your own insurer.
  3. Never agree to accept a settlement without legal advice. Most victims are not knowledgeable about how much money they are owed for damages.
  4. As soon as possible, speak to a personal injury lawyer about the accident. The sooner you do so, the easier it will be to gather evidence, interview witnesses, and get compensated.

If you are seeking more information, consider talking to a local personal injury lawyer.