Suing After a Car Accident
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, roughly 13 car accidents occur every minute in America. Fortunately, not all car accidents cause physical injuries.
Although auto accidents can result in severe and lasting injuries, there are times when victims come out completely unscathed. If you’ve been involved in an accident and were lucky enough to suffer no physical injuries, you might be wondering, “Can I sue after a car accident even if I’m not hurt?”
In short, yes, you can file a lawsuit even if you haven’t suffered a car accident injury. Just because you haven’t been injured doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve compensation for other areas of loss or damage. Continue reading to find out more.
You Can Sue for Damage to Your Car
If your vehicle sustained damage during the accident, the first thing to do is file a property damage claim with the negligent party’s insurance company or your own insurance company. If they compensate you for the damages without any issues, this is the simplest and easiest route.
However, if the insurance company is lowballing you, then you should consider taking matters further. The best course of action, in this case, is to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit.
An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to establish fault and negotiate on your behalf. If you hire a lawyer, this will instantly signal to the insurance company that you mean business, and won’t accept anything but a fair offer. Your attorney will also be able to gauge whether or not your claim can be settled during negotiations, or whether it’s worthwhile taking the claim to court.
To effectively claim or sue for damages to your car, you will need to compile an accurate list of the damages, along with proof that the damages were a direct result of the other driver’s negligence.
You Can Sue for Travel Expenses
If the accident (and the resulting damage to your vehicle) caused you extra travel-related costs, this is another thing you can claim for. Did you have to spend money on transport while your vehicle was in for repair? If you had to rent a vehicle, you may be able to be compensated for those costs. You can also seek compensation for transport costs such as Uber, Lyft, and taxi fares.
You Can Sue for Mental Distress
After a car accident, you have the legal right in California to sue for mental/emotional injury and trauma.
According to research, 39.2% of motor vehicle accident survivors develop PTSD. Symptoms include, but aren’t limited to:
Dissociation during and after the car crash
Changes to emotional reactions
Negative changes to mood or thoughts
For instance, after a car accident, you might find yourself avoiding car travel. You might experience feelings of anxiety around driving and begin to avoid activities that require car travel, such as road trips. If you are experiencing mental anguish following an accident, it’s best to speak with a medical professional as soon as possible. However, you will need to be able to prove that your symptoms are a direct result of the car accident. It’s not enough to be able to say “Driving now makes me nervous.”
Instead, you will need to provide medical evidence that ties your symptoms to the accident. If you hire an attorney who specializes in car accidents, they will be able to avail you of expert medical witnesses who can contribute to your body of evidence.
Is It Worth Suing if I Am Not Injured?
The answer varies from individual to individual. If the damage to your car is extensive, you suffered mental anguish due to the accident, or had to incur high travel-related costs while your vehicle was in repair, then it might definitely be worthwhile filing an insurance claim.
The cooperation you experience from the other party’s insurance company is another factor to consider. If the carrier is willing to negotiate and pay you out a fair settlement, this might be enough to cover your losses.
On the other hand, if the insurance company isn’t offering a fair settlement amount, even after you hire an attorney, then it might be best to file a lawsuit.
How to Ensure the Success of Your Case
Whether you’re just trying to get a fair settlement from the insurance company or taking your case to court, it’s always a good idea to seek out legal representation.
Without an attorney, you’ll be at an inherent disadvantage. A car accident attorney will be able to effectively negotiate with the insurer on your behalf, navigate the legal claims process, and ensure that you have enough evidence to fight your case.
Call Riverview Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Even if you were not hurt, you can still seek compensation for damages to your vehicle, car rental costs, and mental distress. Don’t allow the other driver’s insurance to settle your claim for less than you deserve.
Call (714) 862-1187 to speak with a car accident lawyer about your case.