When and Why should you sue after an accident?
We want to address a question we often get. Can I sue the person that hit me?
Not the insurance company, but the actual individual. Now, the short answer is yes. You can sue anybody that has harmed you. But, we want to talk about whether it may or may not be a good idea.
So why would you want to sue someone individually? Maybe they don’t have any insurance coverage. Maybe they just have the state minimum, and your case is worth more. Or maybe you’re just so mad that you just want to sue them out of principle.
Now all these might be good motivating factors, but is it the right decision? When we sue individuals, we’re going after their personal assets. Money in the bank, filing liens on their home or other properties. So we’re suing somebody that doesn’t have insurance, or they just have the state minimum. Another natural assumption is, what kind of additional assets do they even have? If they don’t have any additional assets, then it’s generally not worth your time.
But, an experienced attorney will investigate these adverse parties to determine what type of assets they have. And, if they do have assets and your case awards it, then it may be a good idea to pursue them individually. You can sue an individual and go through trial and you may be awarded a lot of money. But the next hurdle is, how do we collect that money?
There’s risks and rewards to suing someone personally
You may recall the OJ Simpson civil trial from the 1990s. The Goldman family was awarded millions of dollars. To this day, they’ve only received a tiny amount of money, if anything.
You must understand that the court is not a collection agency. So you run the risk of never receiving any money, even after receiving a large judgment. If you want to pursue the individual, your attorney may ask for an hourly rate as well as ask you to pay for the cost of the trial upfront.
This is going to require a substantial investment on your part. Now the attorneys do this because they understand the risk of suing an individual in trial. Again, you may receive a great judgment, but you may never receive any money. Now, Wood Injury Law, we know that this is a frustrating and an emotional process. We’re here to help and guide you throughout the entire process. If you feel that you have a case that you want to pursue an individual, give us a call today for a free consultation. We’ll sit down and we’ll determine whether or not this is the best use of your time and money.