Should I Sue a Friend or Family Member After an Accident?

Suing a friend or family member to recover damages for the injuries you suffered in a car accident might seem like a bad idea. However, in virtually every case, the damages that you can recover will be reimbursed by that person’s insurance company. 

When that insurance company declines to cover your damages or offers to pay less than the full amount for all of your losses, you might have no other option but to file a lawsuit against the friend or family member whose negligence caused it.

The New York City car accident lawyers from Douglas and London is uniquely attuned to sensitive issues like this. For more than twenty years, we have represented individuals to recover the full amount of their damages directly from their friends’ or family members’ insurance companies. We can do this without impairing these relationships.

Who Pays for an Injured Party’s Damages Under New York’s No-Fault Insurance Laws?

New York is one of a small number of states that have enacted “no-fault” insurance laws. The insurance coverage reimburses the driver and any of their passengers for injuries they have suffered, regardless of who caused it. The problem is that many insurers offer less than the total amount of damages, and often far less than the policy’s coverage limits. Usually, an accident victim will need an attorney to file a lawsuit and negotiate a fair settlement.

Can a Friend or Family Member Negotiate with an Insurance Company on Behalf of an Injured Passenger?

Insurance companies hire teams of lawyers who negotiate hundreds of car accident claims every week. Any friend or family member who attempts to resolve a passenger’s claim will be up against an experienced team that has every incentive to minimize the payment. As commendable as those efforts are, a friend or family member will never be on a level playing field.

A knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer in New York can help even the odds. They can recover a more significant amount from the insurer, even if that means naming a friend or family member in a lawsuit.

How Will a Lawsuit Affect a Family or Friend Relationship?

In the hands of a skillful attorney, a lawsuit does not need to be an adversarial procedure. A lawyer who has expertise in representing injured passengers will be able to manage it in ways that minimize or eliminate any ill will. Claims and negotiations for reimbursement in these circumstances will be handled almost entirely between the injured party’s lawyer and the insurance company. Further, the vehicle’s driver or owner will have limited involvement in this process.

Contact Douglas and London for Sensitive and Professional Legal Representation

Car accident injury lawsuits are stressful. The stress will inevitably be greater if an injured passenger needs to file a lawsuit against a friend or family member. If you find yourself in these circumstances, you need the New York City personal injury lawyers from Douglas and London to protect your interests without destroying the good relationship that you have with loved ones.

Please see our website or call us if you have suffered injuries in a car accident in Manhattan, the Bronx, Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and anywhere else in New York. We will fight to recover the damages you deserve and to keep your relationships with your friends and family members intact.

Resources:

  1. www.iii.org: Background On: No-Fault Auto Insurance. https://www.iii.org/article/background-on-no-fault-auto-insurance
  2. www.alllaw.com: Passenger Injury Claims After a Car Accident. https://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/auto-accident/passenger-injury-claims.html
  3. www.valuepenguin.com: What to Do if You’re Injured in a Car Accident as a Passenger. https://www.valuepenguin.com/car-insurance/what-do-if-you-are-injured-car-accident-passenger