Just when you thought family dinner couldn’t get any more painful than the unprompted political discussion, it happens: the unthinkable occurs. Uncle Joe backs into your modest sedan with his towering pickup truck. Your car is totaled and you are hurt to boot. You need to file an injury claim for compensation.
When a family member is liable for an accident, sticky interpersonal situations can result. Naming a relative in a lawsuit can seem both drastic and against everything we have been taught about how to treat family. It is not as bad as it looks, however, and you can make it through this type of claim without banishment.
Here, we answer a few common questions about this type of injury and explain why these cases are not as terrible as they seem.
Am I Filing Against Family or Insurance?
Few things appear more serious and scary than a lawsuit. Putting a family member through this type of stress can add to your own. Yet the truth is, when you file an injury claim you are seldom filing against the family member themselves. Most often, you are filing against their insurance company to ensure that you receive appropriate compensation.
The name on the paperwork may be your relative’s, but the appearance of these documents can be far more intimidating than the reality of the case.
What if I Was Harmed In An Accident Caused by My Spouse or Child?
Accidents involving family are frequently caused by a minor or spouse on your own insurance plan. In these cases, if you were not the driver at fault, you can still file an injury claim to receive money from your insurance policy. This can allow you to cover expenses you would otherwise have to absorb.
If the accident resulted in a great deal of damage - perhaps more than your family’s policy covers - you can look to compensation from any uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage you carry. If you sustained harm yourself, you may be able to find coverage through your Personal Injury Protection, or PIP.
Can My Family Member File an Injury Claim Against Me?
Liability insurance will only cover someone who was not liable for causing an injury. If a relative is found liable of causing an accident, they cannot file a claim with your insurance company. Only the injured party can do that. However, that relative may be able to find some relief for medical bills through Personal Injury Protection coverage.
What if I Was Harmed in a Family Member’s Home?
Perhaps a family member’s dog bit you, you fell in a post hole on their property, or an eave dangling from a shed in disrepair injured you. Whatever the situation, if you are hurt due to a property owner’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation in a personal injury claim. Homeowner's insurance or renter’s insurance may cover these situations. A personal injury attorney can help you decide the best course of action.
Steven A. Bagen & Associates Are Here to Help
Navigating a personal injury claim involving family is complicated enough without having to decipher the insurance claims and legalese. Contact Steven A. Bagen & Associates today for more information on how we can help!