Who Do You Sue When You Have A Car Accident?
For those that have been negligently injured in a car accident, people understandably want to know what their legal options are available to them. A question we are frequently asked at our office is “Who do I sue for a car accident?”
Generally, and assuming the claim requires litigation, the driver of the car, as well as the owner of the car that struck you are both sued.
What that means is that a formal complaint seeking money damages will be filed in the appropriate court. That is the official start of any lawsuit.
If the person that caused the car accident was driving at the time of the accident for his employer, then that driver, as well as his employer, would both be named in a lawsuit.
That is because the employer of the driver is legally liable for the negligence of its employees acting in the course and scope of their employment for the employer under a legal doctrine called vicarious liability. This situation commonly is seen in many motor vehicle accident cases, and especially with trucking accident cases.
Keep in mind it is the insurance company for the at-fault driver that is the one that pays a settlement, rather than the actual driver that caused the accident.
That is because when there is an accident, insurance companies provide at-fault drivers with something called indemnity (they pay any settlement or judgment), as well as defense (they will provide attorneys that will defend the lawsuit on behalf of the insurance company).