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With Friends Like These: What to Do If a Friend’s Negligence Caused Your Injuries

Posted on - Monday, April 4, 2016 under Personal Injury With Friends Like These: What to Do If a Friend’s Negligence Caused Your Injuries

When we think of auto accident lawsuits, we usually think of a claim against the driver of another vehicle whose negligence was responsible for the injuries suffered by the plaintiff. Sometimes, however, that negligent driver may in fact be a good friend who was driving the car you were a passenger in.

If you’ve been injured as a result of a friend’s negligence, you want to receive compensation for your losses; lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering. But do you really want to sue your friend? Do you have to?

In such a situation, it is important to remember who ultimately pays when a negligent driver is found to be responsible for causing injuries to others. If your friend was insured, it is his or her insurance company, not your friend, that not only will pay any compensation awarded or agreed to, but will also pay any legal fees or costs incurred in defending a personal injury lawsuit for damages.

In auto accident cases, the insurance company stands in the shoes of their driver when any claim or lawsuit is filed. They have a duty to defend their insured and pay compensation to the extent of the policy limits in the event that the insured is found liable. That’s why we have insurance and pay hefty premiums every month.

While the insurer will ultimately pay the bills, your friend is still the party who was responsible for your injuries. That means if you file a lawsuit for damages, your friend will be named as the defendant in the lawsuit, not the insurance company.

This can obviously be an uncomfortable and awkward situation. But keep this in mind: your friend is probably relieved that your injuries weren’t worse and feels horrible already about their role in causing your injuries. The fact that you will be able to obtain from their insurance company the money you need to help you recover likely outweighs the fact that they are technically named as a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit in which they will pay nothing.

Of course, if your friend did not have auto insurance or was underinsured, it is a bit of a different situation. Even here, however, you may be able to obtain compensation without pointing a lawsuit in your friend’s direction. If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage from your own insurer, you can seek to obtain compensation under your own policy.

Either way, the fact that you survived a horrible accident makes it likely that your friendship will survive as well.

Parian Law Firm: Metro Atlanta Car Accident Attorney

At Parian Law Firm in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we represent injury victims exclusively and are committed to getting justice and compensation for our clients. If you have been injured in a car accident, please call The Parian Law Firm at (770) 727-5550 or chat live online with a member of our staff today. We can discuss your situation, evaluate your potential claim, and advise you of your options.