Injury Claims Against Relatives and Friends
September 13, 2019
South Florida Car Accident Lawyers Help Clients Navigate the Difficult Process of Bringing Injury Claims Against Relatives and Friends
The process of recovering physically, emotionally and financially after your or a loved one have sustained injuries in a car crash can be long and painful. When those injuries were sustained in an accident that was caused by a relative or a friend, the process can become exponentially more complicated from an emotional standpoint. The unfortunate reality is that medical treatment for car accident injuries can be expensive, especially in situations involving serious injuries resulting in the need for long-term care. Even with health insurance coverage, you are likely facing out-of-pocket medical expenses at a time when your injuries could prevent you from working—meaning that you may have no other choice than to bring an injury claim against a relative or friend who caused the accident.
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our skilled Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers understand the delicate nature of bringing injury claims against relatives and friends. We pride ourselves on bringing both legal expertise and compassion to the table to get the best possible result in your case. Your legal right to get compensation from a relative or friend can create conflict, but we can help you both understand your rights and make the process go as smoothly as possible. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident and need help filing a claim against a relative or friend who was at-fault, call or contact us today to explore options.
Understanding Post-Car Accident Injury Claims Against Relatives and Friends
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that, as an accident victim, when you bring an injury claim against a relative or friend, you are really making a claim against that person’s insurance policy in most cases. Some relevant considerations when filing an injury claim against a relative or friend include:
If you were injured as a passenger and the at-fault driver is a relative who lives in your house, you are automatically covered under that driver’s personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
If you were injured as a passenger in a friend’s car, you will still be covered under that friend’s PIP coverage simply because you were a passenger in the car driven by the insured.
Injury claims against a relative or friend will generally only be required in cases involving serious injuries after you’ve already exhausted your own PIP limits (your coverage applies even if you were a passenger) or in situations where you don’t have any other available car insurance.
You do have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against a relative or friend in cases where the settlement offered by the insurance company is inadequate to cover the costs of your injuries—and, in these cases, the insurance company will likely hire a lawyer to defend your friend or relative.
Filing an Injury Claim Against an At-Fault Relative or Friend in Florida Crash Cases Can Protect Your Health and Financial Future
When you file an injury claim against a relative or friend after a South Florida car crash, the insurance company in question will take steps to protect the insured individual’s rights in the same manner as in cases where the at-fault driver was a stranger. At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our experienced car crash lawyers are here to protect your rights by ensuring that you get the compensation that you need to cover the cost of both your current and anticipated future medical care.
To do this, we consult with reputable medical experts so that we can gain a reasonable approximation of the actual costs and losses associated with your injuries. Importantly, we can help you and your relative or friend understand that your claim is in no way an attack on the at-fault party—it is simply a means for you to recover the funds you need to recover from the injury.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with Our Trusted Lawyers to Discuss an Injury Claim Against Relatives or Friends in South Florida
Even a relative or close friend can cause an accident where you end up seriously injured. While that person may not have intended to cause you harm, the fact remains that you often need financial compensation to protect your own health and finances. While filing a claim against a friend or relative can create stress in the relationship, that person also has an interest in seeing that you recover fully from your injuries—which requires proper medical care.
If you have sustained injuries in an accident caused by someone you know and are worried about filing an injury claim against a relative or friend, call us today for a free initial consultation. We will explain your legal rights and help explore options for recovering compensation while preserving your relationship with the at-fault party.
Frequently Asked Questions About Injury Claims Against Relatives and Friends
The same types of compensation that are available if the at-fault driver is a stranger are available. Namely, compensation for all current and future medical expenses, lost wages, lost future earning capacity, rehabilitative care and even pain and suffering will be available even if you are related to the person who caused your accident.
When you make an injury claim against a friend or relative who was the at-fault driver in a car crash, their insurance premiums are likely to increase. However, their premiums will likely increase regardless of whether you file an injury claim simply because they were at-fault in the accident and will probably have to file a claim for property damage to the vehicle even if your friend or relative was not injured at all. This means that while it’s understandable that you’re concerned about your friend or relative’s insurance premiums, it should not be a factor that influences your decision about filing a claim.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.