Whom Can I Sue After a Car Accident?

March 29, 2021

For many people, especially newer drivers, driving can be a fun experience. Rolling down the highway, listening to music, and turning your thoughts away from any personal difficulties, can be an exhilarating and liberating experience. 

However, all of this disappears in an instant if you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in an automobile or motorcycle accident. If you’ve been in a collision, you probably have many questions, especially if you’ve been injured or have property damage.

After seeking any necessary medical attention, contacting law enforcement, and collecting necessary information, your next question may be, “Who do I sue after a car accident?” The driver or the insurance company? Most vehicle injury or damage victims simply file a claim with the other party’s insurance company and accept whatever is offered. 

However, this is likely not your best option. Insurance companies are like any other company: their goal is to make money. They do this by talking you into an undervalued settlement, assuming that you simply don’t know better. However, there is a better option: Contact an Easton car accident lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis, even before you call any insurance company. They will tell you that who you should sue depends on various factors, including your state’s laws and the other driver’s insurance coverage if indeed they even have insurance.

What Options Do I Have After a Car Accident?

Aside from contacting our Easton car accident lawyer, the question is: What can I expect to encounter? You and your attorney will likely face the following situations.

Determining Fault

The first task is to determine who is at fault for the accident. Clearly, if you are 100 percent at fault, trying to sue someone else is likely a waste of time and effort. However, our Easton car accident lawyer will help you determine fault for your accident and determine what compensation you can expect to recover for your injuries, based upon your damages and percentage of fault.

Understanding the Laws Regarding Negligence in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania follows a “modified comparative fault” rule when both parties share fault for an accident. Typically, two items are determined based on the evidence:

  1. The total dollar amount of the plaintiff’s damages, and 
  2. The percentage of fault that belongs to each party. 

Under the modified comparative fault rule, the plaintiff’s damages award is reduced by a percentage equal to his or her share of fault. So, if you are 20% at fault, your award will be 80% of your total damages. The “modified” portion of the law means that if you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault for the crash, you will receive nothing.

Furthermore, Pennsylvania is one of only a few states that allow you to choose “no-fault” car insurance. This choice means that injured drivers and passengers typically must look to their own personal injury car insurance coverage first for compensation after a crash, regardless of who might have been at fault. A claim against the at-fault driver is only possible in a small number of specific scenarios.

What to Do if the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance

If the other driver has no insurance coverage, you have two options. First, you can attempt to sue the driver personally, but keep in mind most drivers who don’t carry insurance likely do not have many, if any, assets to compensate you. Therefore, winning a case against these drivers is somewhat pointless. 

Second, you can file a claim with your own insurance company under your uninsured motorist benefits. It is important to know that uninsured motorist benefits cannot exceed the amount of your primary coverage. For example, if you have $100,000 in coverage, you can only have up to $100,000 in uninsured benefits.

Contact an Easton Car Accident Lawyer For Help with Your Car Accident Claims 

If you have suffered property damage or injuries as a result of a vehicle accident in Pennsylvania, don’t try to deal with the complex insurance policies and laws on your own. Instead, let an Easton car accident lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis help. They have the experience and knowledge of insurance policies and state laws necessary to maximize your recovery, even if you have suffered a serious injury or the death of a loved one.

For further information and to schedule your free consultation, contact us.