Can I Sue Someone Personally After a Car Accident?

after a car accident

When people get into a car accident, they’re really quick to point the finger at the other driver. It is easy to blame someone else. However, if the other driver truly is to blame, they should be held accountable after a car accident. The best way to do that is to hire an auto accident attorney in Charlotte. They not only know the law, but they also know how to file your claim properly. The last thing you want to do is have your claim denied for a technicality.

Here, we’ll discuss the different ways in which you can pursue the other driver for damages after a car accident. As tempting as it is to want to sue them, you have to think rationally. The bottom line is that you have a much bigger chance of recovering from a large insurance company than you do an individual. With that said, there are times when you have no choice but to sue the other driver. We’ll explain when that is your best option.

If you still have questions after reading this article, don’t worry. You can always call one of our Charlotte injury attorneys and set up your free, initial consultation.

Your Auto Accident Attorney in Charlotte Has to Pursue the Insurance Company First

In the minutes after a car accident, people feel a lot of different emotions. Of course, you’ll feel afraid at first. Your biggest concern is that everybody is okay. Once you check on your passengers, you start to feel angry. How could someone be so irresponsible? If someone crashes into your car, you’ll probably feel a lot of anger toward them. You need to keep calm whether you like it or not. The best way to make the other driver pay is to pursue a claim against their insurance company.

As much as you may want to sue the other driver personally after a car accident, you must file a claim against their insurance company first. That’s why they pay for auto insurance. If things were the other way around, you wouldn’t want somebody to take it personally. Accidents happen. If the insurance company pays your claim, it’s a good thing. At least that way, you’ll get the compensation you deserve. If you sue the driver personally, there’s no telling what could happen.

You May Need to Pursue More than One Party After a Car Accident

Depending on the circumstances, you may need to sue more than one party after a car accident. For example, if you’re involved in a multi-car pileup, you may need to sue two or three different people. You would sue the insurance companies for the drivers first. If that doesn’t cover all your damages, your auto accident attorney in Charlotte will sue them each personally.

When you pursue more than one party, you are seeking something called joint and several liability. This means that, collectively, the other parties are responsible for your damages after a car accident. For example, imagine you get hit by an Uber driver. Your auto accident attorney in Charlotte will have to name several parties in your lawsuit. These include:

  • The driver of the Uber vehicle
  • The driver’s insurance company
  • Uber
  • Uber’s insurance carrier

If there were any other drivers involved, you’ll have to name them as well.

auto accident attorneys in Charlotte

What Happens if the Driver Has No Insurance?

If the defendant doesn’t have insurance, you’ll have two options. First, you can file a claim under your own insurance policy’s uninsured motorist’s clause. Typically, this doesn’t cover more than $10,000. If your damages are more than that, you’ll have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver after a car accident.

The problem with suing somebody personally is that they may have no assets. Even if you win your lawsuit, you won’t collect anything if they have nothing. The best your Charlotte injury attorneys can do is perfect your judgment and hope that the defendant obtains assets in the future. For example, if they decide to sell their home down the road, they’ll have to pay your judgment off before they do so. They can’t sell their house with a lien against it.

What Can Your Charlotte Injury Attorneys Do if the Defendant Refuses to Pay the Judgment?

It isn’t uncommon for a defendant to ignore the fact that you got a judgment against them after a car accident. In fact, a lot of our clients sue somebody only to have them ignore the lawsuit. Either they don’t care that they’re being sued, or they know they’re liable, so they just ignore it. If this happens, your auto accident attorneys will file for a default judgment. Once this is granted, you can start executing upon that judgment.

In most states, if you get a judgment against someone after a car accident, you have three options. In order to collect your money, you can attempt the following:

  • You can put a lien against their property, including their home
  • You can file a levy against their bank account
  • You can ask the court to execute a wage garnishment

In North Carolina, only the first 2 options exist. You aren’t allowed to garnish someone’s wages in Charlotte. This means you can only pursue their home or their bank accounts. If they have no property, your only choice is to do a bank levy.

The way a bank levy works is simple. The first thing you do is see if you can locate the other driver’s bank. Your auto accident attorney in Charlotte will ask the local sheriff to serve a bank levy on the defendant’s bank. If they’re successful, the bank will freeze any money in their account. They’ll also put a hold on any money that comes into the account. This will continue until the full amount of the judgment after a car accident has been paid.

At some point, the defendant is going to notice what has happened. They will open a bank account somewhere else to avoid you. This is quite common. It could be years before you get another chance to collect money from them.

Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney in Charlotte

If you or your loved one are injured in a car accident, you’re going to need help. This is especially true if the other driver doesn’t have insurance. The last thing you want to do is try to handle complicated litigation on your own after a car accident. What you should do is call and talk to seasoned Charlotte injury attorneys. They can review your case and answer any questions you may have.

Your initial consultation is free so you have nothing to lose.