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Can You Sue Someone For a Minor Car Accident?



Sue  for a minor car accident?

An average of 6 million car accidents happen every year in the U.S., injuring approximately 3 million people. Over 90 people lose their lives daily in these crashes.

The severity of these collisions varies, and you may wonder if you can sue someone for a minor car accident. The answer depends on the circumstances and the location where the accident happened.

What Is a Minor Car Accident?

Many people consider a car crash to be minor if the property damage is under a certain dollar amount and minimal physical injuries occur. For those involved in a collision, no accident is minor.

Just because you might not have any physical injuries or only minor scrapes or bruises, that doesn’t mean that your accident didn’t have a profound impact. Anxiety, depression and PTSD often follow car crashes, regardless of the physical damage.

Relatively minor vehicle damage can still put your car out of commission until you can have it repaired, often leaving you without transportation. Insurance companies don’t like to cooperate with claimants, and you may find it challenging to get the compensation you deserve if you handle your case yourself.

Is Suing Someone the Same as Filing an Insurance Claim?

Although both of these actions are requests for compensation, they are different. An insurance claim is a legal request for compensation from at-fault parties for the various damages you might have resulting from a covered occurrence, such as a car accident.

Your own auto insurance policy may cover some of your expenses, but these claims typically involve seeking compensation from the party responsible for causing your accident. At times, your insurance company may deny your claim. If that happens, your Big Auto car accident attorney can assess the facts and tell you how we can help.

Suing someone involves filing a formal civil lawsuit. In doing so, you put yourself under the court’s authority. You, the plaintiff, name a specific party or parties, the defendant(s), in an attempt to obtain compensation. A judge or jury will decide whether to grant compensation and how much you will receive.

Your Big Auto car accident lawyer will explain the pros and cons of each alternative. We will also help you decide which option works best for you.

Can You Always Get Compensation After a Minor Car Accident?

Every state has laws that determine your eligibility to file claims against at-fault drivers, and these laws vary significantly. That’s why the location of your accident matters: you must follow that state’s laws.

In some states, you can seek compensation even if you are 99% at fault for causing your accident. Other states prevent you from filing claims against other drivers if you were only 1% to blame. Most states use modified comparative negligence, placing a 50% or 51% bar to determine your eligibility. If your assigned percentage of fault exceeds the applicable limit, you can’t seek compensation from other parties.

If the state’s laws allow you to hold the at-fault parties liable for your damages, your degree of fault directly impacts your potential settlement amount. If you are 30% at fault, the most you might receive is 70% of your damages.

What Is Negligence?

Negligence is the basis for most car accident claims and personal injury cases. You’ve probably heard about negligence and wondered what it has to do with car accidents. In legal matters like these, negligence means that someone didn’t behave as a reasonable person would in the same situation. Negligence can take the form of action or inaction.

When someone gets behind the wheel of a car, they take on a duty of care to follow safe driving practices and take reasonable precautions to avoid harming others in an accident. To prove negligence, you must show that:

You can’t just say that someone else was negligent; you need solid evidence to prove it if you expect to get compensation. In some car accidents, the fault is clear. However, an investigation must determine fault in many cases.

Most people lack experience conducting investigations. They also don’t know what can serve as evidence or how to find it. Your Big Auto car accident lawyer has the resources and experience to investigate your accident thoroughly so we can find the evidence we need to support your claim.

Don’t Insurance Companies Pay Claims Fairly?

Insurance company representatives might seem friendly, caring and helpful, but as a whole, insurance companies often use several tactics to reduce how much they have to pay for valid claims. Their adjusters calculate how much your case is worth, but these companies rarely pay that amount without a fight.

Insurance companies may:

Most people who hire an attorney get a significantly higher payout. That’s because we know how much compensation you are due and how to keep insurance companies from taking advantage of you.

What Kinds of Compensation Are Available?

Case-specific factors determine your eligibility for specific damages, but you might qualify to receive two different kinds of compensatory damages. In rare cases, you might also obtain exemplary or punitive damages.

Economic Damages

Even minor car accidents can leave you with several expenses. Economic damages reimburse you for things like medical bills, lost wages, replacement services and property damages. These expenses are tangible, so compensation is exact. Be sure to keep a record and receipts for all of your accident-related expenses so your Big Auto lawyer can use them as evidence.

Non-Economic Damages

Some injuries are intangible, but they can still have a profound impact on your life. Insurance companies particularly balk at paying compensation for these conditions, which include pain and suffering, depression, PTSD, losing your ability to enjoy life and damage to your personal relationships.

Without legal representation, you may find it challenging to prove that these conditions exist. However, your Big Auto attorney knows how.

Exemplary or Punitive Damages

If the at-fault party was extremely or willfully negligent when causing your accident, injuries and damages, you might receive exemplary or punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, you are not the focus of these damages. Instead, they constitute further punishment of the guilty party.

How Can a Minor Car Accident Lawyer Help?

Any car accident claim, whether minor or major, involves several tasks you must complete. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, we can take care of these things on your behalf:

During your free consultation and throughout the claims process, we can explain relevant information and your legal options.

Why Should You Trust Big Auto With Your Minor Car Accident Claim?

Big Auto is a nationwide network of experienced personal injury lawyers who focus on handling car accident claims. Our firm’s large size means we have the resources to be effective advocates, but your local Big Auto attorney will give you the personal attention you deserve. Contact us 24/7 for more information.