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Who Pays For My Auto Accident?

Who pays the settlement or verdict for your car accident?

You could file a personal injury lawsuit, but you don't want to hurt the guy who hit you. It really was an accident, and he clearly doesn't have a lot of money. Will a lawsuit make his life even harder?

No. Although a personal injury defendant can be forced to pay if they have the resources, in most cases their insurance company, or a combination of insurance policies, will pay the bill.

Although the at-fault driver is named as the defendant in an auto accident lawsuit, their insurance company is obligated to provide them with a defense lawyer and to pay any settlement or verdict up to their policy limits.

The Defendant Usually Does Not Pay Because That's Why We Have Insurance Policies

Some people cringe when it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit. I have a friend who likes to say, "I don't believe in suing, on principle."

Here's the thing - if everyone thought like that, insurance companies would make even more money (and they already make a lot of money), they would have even less incentive to pay claims, and millions of drivers would pay out of pocket for repairs and medical care that the insurance companies are supposed to pay for.

That's why you pay insurance premiums - so that if you run into sudden costs resulting from a car accident, you don't have to go broke paying them. That's why the at-fault driver was paying their insurance premiums.

If you decide not to file suit because you don't want to hurt the other driver, you are not helping the other driver - you are only helping the insurance company maximize their profits at your own expense.

Won't the Driver's Premiums Go Up After a Lawsuit?

The at-fault driver's premiums will go up as soon as the insurance company knows they caused an accident - which has already happened before you even start thinking about filing a personal injury claim. In some cases, the insurance company will completely drop the at-fault driver as a customer as soon as they find out about the accident.

That driver will not have to pay more if you go ahead with your PI claim - the insurance company will. From a public policy perspective, it's the sole reason that insurance companies exist...

What If the Other Driver Doesn't Have Insurance?

So, what if the at-fault driver didn't have any insurance? Or, what if it was a hit and run accident?

Talk to your SC PI lawyer immediately - don't assume that there is no coverage. In some cases, your own underinsured or uninsured policy will cover all or part of the damages. In other cases, your attorney may be able to identify other sources of recovery or work with law enforcement to identify the hit and run driver.

Got Axelrod?

Your Myrtle Beach auto accident attorney at Axelrod and Associates will investigate your case, gather the evidence that you need, negotiate maximum compensation from the insurance company, and take them to trial when they do not pay what you are entitled to.

Schedule a free consultation with a Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer on the Axelrod team today. Call us at (843) 916-9300 or fill out our contact form to set up your initial meeting and review of your case.

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