Buckle up, what you’re about to hear will make you slam on the brakes. More than 2 million Americans are injured each year on the road. So, on average, it’s likely you’ll be involved in a notable accident every 16-18 years.
That statistic alone should give you whiplash.
The question “should I sue after a car accident” doesn’t always have a clear-cut answer. The amount of money, time, and medical expenses can bury you in debt.
If you’re not at fault, do not let yourself be a victim. However, suing might not always be the right option for you. Read on to find out why.
For starters, determine if your state is an At-Fault or No-Fault state.
At-Fault (or Tort) states place personal liability on drivers. Damages and medical billing is placed in the accountability of the person that caused the accident. Public representatives, like police officers, determine who is at fault based on eye-witness accounts and other factors.
No-Fault states are the direct opposite: nobody is at fault. This might sound ludicrous, but it’s why certain insurance coverages are required in some states and not in others. If the damage or injury is extensive, and not fully covered, lawsuits are still viable.
This is an extensive list of No-Fault States:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
If you live in one of these twelve states, it might not be reasonable or applicable to sue the other party.
Should I Sue After a Car Accident?
After the dust settles and the smell of burning rubber has subsided, there may still be some lasting effects on your body. You might not feel it immediately, but high-impact forces can cause serious internal issues.
Walking away from an accident is easy. Your blood is coursing with adrenaline. Getting out of bed the next day or a week from then is different.
In the following weeks, you should get yourself medically examined. You should also gauge how you feel constantly.
Perhaps your neck feels a little off or your lower back is stiff. These are signs of herniated discs, and they can have lasting effects. These injuries are sneaky, as they appear later on.
Depending on where you live, there are statutes of limitations. This is a time limit for how long after an accident you can sue. If a health issue arises within that timeframe (which is typically around 2-4 years), take a look into getting a lawyer.
As a bottom line, you have to weigh the benefits and costs of suing, as well as if you’re in a No-Fault state or not.
If the damages or injuries are excessive and uncovered by insurance, it’s a good idea to sue the other party. If you’re in an At-Fault state and you’ve been injured (despite the car repairs), sue for your injuries. If you were determined to be at fault, do not pursue legal action.
Consider Lawyering Up
The roads in the United States are chaotic. It’s more likely that you’ll be in a car accident than it is that you won’t be at some point. When that time comes, you might ask yourself, “Should I sue after a car accident?”
Depending on your state’s Fault Laws, and whether or not your insurance covers the damages, you should sue if the other party is at fault.
Need some more legal tips or want to learn more about the law? If so, check out our other articles on legal issues.