If you’ve been injured in a car accident at no fault of your own you probably want compensation for your injuries. But even if you aren’t responsible for the accident, there are still limitations on the kinds of damages you can claim. These limitations depend on the state in which you live and the specific circumstances of the accident. And only certain parties can be sued, depending on your state’s laws.
When You Caused the Accident
Even if you are the cause of your own accident, you may still have recourse to obtain compensation from your insurance company. This is called a first-party car accident lawsuit. If the lawsuit goes well, you can get compensation for lost wages, medical bills and benefits, special needs treatment and attendant care. In short, this type of lawsuit involves mainly economic damages and excludes noneconomic damages.
When It’s Another Driver’s Fault
Noneconomic damages come into play when a third-party driver is the cause of the accident. Beyond the monetary damages mentioned above, you may be able to obtain compensation for pain and suffering incurred as a result of the car accident. For instance, if you suffer an injury that seriously affects your day-to-day life, you can receive compensation for your hardship. In order to obtain this form of compensation you must be able to show that the injury directly caused the suffering and that the injury was definitely caused by the accident. To that end, it is essential to keep all documentation pertaining to your injury. It is important to work with a lawyer to figure out what is and isn’t possible in your case.
When the Other Driver Is Uninsured
In some cases, the party responsible for the accident may lack insurance to cover the damages. This person may be referred to as an uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM). In this case, the process of seeking claims will become far more complicated because rather than suing the insurance company, you will have to file claims against the individual motorist.
Of course, any of the above could change depending on the state you’re suing in, so it’s a good idea to contact an experienced car accident lawyer such as the attorneys at Sherdan & Rund, P.C. Your attorney will help you choose the optimal strategy for receiving the maximum compensation. It’s also important that you do this sooner rather than later to avoid falling prey to the statute of limitations.