A good car accident lawyer will be familiar with the types of settlements that can be expected for different types of accidents and will be able to tell you if an offer is reasonable or whether you need to appeal to get more money. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you might be wondering if it’s better to accept an insurance payout or file a civil suit to recover further damages. The response to this question is based on where you live, the extent of your personal injury, and the amount of coverage provided by your insurance policy.Learn more by visiting The Clark Law Office
You may be limited in the ability to file an auto accident civil suit in certain jurisdictions. There are 12 “no fault” states in the United States, which means that the system is structured to ensure that everybody, regardless of fault, receives adequate medical attention after an automobile accident. To that end, regardless of who caused the accident, each motorist must purchase his or her own personal injury protection (PIP) and must seek damages from his or her insurance company under that coverage. You cannot bring a civil suit in these states for a car accident injury unless the injuries are “major” or “serious.”
Each of the twelve no-fault states has its own set of guidelines or thresholds for filing a civil suit for an automobile accident injury. In most cases, though, the accidents must be much more severe than those that would be covered by your own insurance. In a no-fault jurisdiction, for example, death is often a significant incident that requires the victim’s family to file a civil suit for an auto accident injury. Other “severe” disabilities that make a case include permanent disfigurement, loss of a limb or loss of function of a body organ, or permanent disability.
If you do not live in a no-fault jurisdiction, you might want to file a civil suit if you believe the liable motorist’s insurance company is not offering a fair settlement offer. You are entitled to compensation for the losses, which can include medical costs, missed wages, pain and suffering, and, in some cases, psychological trauma, as well as punitive damages to punish the accused if he behaved intentionally or egregiously. In these states, you have the option of going to court and deciding whether the injuries are severe enough to warrant legal action.