Should I Sue A Friend Or Family Member?Posted on: July 5, 2022
Being faced with the prospect of suing a family member is an awkward situation for everyone involved. The injured party may feel apprehensive about seeking compensation for their injuries out of fear of hurting someone they love. The party being sued may feel angry and unsure about what the process means for the future.
The good news is that lawsuits, even between family members, are common and don’t have to cause a rift in the relationship. Through open communication and trust, inter-family lawsuits can provide the injured party with the compensation they deserve and still leave the family unit intact.
Suing a Family Member: How Does It Work?
Many people hesitate to file a suit against their family members because they feel bad about taking their money and don’t want to hurt them. Considering the thoughts and feelings of the people you care about is admirable, but this thought process is based on a common personal injury myth.
It’s important to remember that while you are technically suing your family member; you are really suing their insurance company. For example, most people have a standard homeowners insurance policy. These policies not only cover physical damages to the home, but they also provide personal liability coverage (essentially the exact situation discussed above.) In the event of a personal injury claim from damages incurred on the property, the insurance policy also helps pay their legal fees.
This system is in place because the state understands the simple fact that there are times when an injured person needs to sue those close to them. Filing a lawsuit allows you to collect a fair amount of compensation to pay for your medical expenses and any other damages.
Should I Sue?
Deciding whether to sue a friend or family member is never easy. Still, there are some questions you can ask yourself to determine whether it’s the right choice for your situation. These questions include:
- How bad are my injuries? Minor injuries are most likely not worth suing over.
- How responsible am I? The court will analyze your level of comparative negligence, determining your contribution to the occurrence of the injury.
- Do they have insurance? If they don’t have an insurance policy, you would be going after them directly.
- Will a lawsuit do more harm than good? Consider the emotional and relational impacts.
- How long has it been since the accident? Generally speaking, the Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims is four years and two years for wrongful death suits. Be sure to talk to a lawyer to assess your eligibility.
What Can I Recover?
After determining if filing a lawsuit is the right choice for your situation, you’re most likely wondering what you can recover for your injury. In personal injury law, “injury” is a much broader term than in a medical setting. There are four main realms people can sue for injuries:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Death benefits
Your medical bills are often covered under liability insurance. The offending party may be liable to help cover additional expenses even if you have your own insurance policy.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is a coverable injury that your family member may be held liable for covering. Hiring a personal injury lawyer that is well versed in dealing with these types of suits is essential for receiving any compensation owed to you.
Suppose you’re injured on a family member’s property and cannot return to work because of your injuries. In that case, they may be legally liable for covering your lost wages.
If someone you love dies as the result of an accident on someone else’s property, that person may be held responsible for death benefits.
Even if the above injuries happen away from the person’s home, they may still be held responsible. They are potentially liable for accidents on any part of their property, including vehicles and additional structures.
You need a lawyer who can help you understand your options and make the best decision for your situation if you’re considering suing a family member. Beers and Gordon is an Orlando-based law firm specializing in personal injury, wrongful death, and auto accident cases.
Our highly-experienced team isn’t afraid to fight for the compensation you deserve. Lawsuits amongst family members are extremely sensitive. We understand the need for discretion and proudly provide you with the support you need. We are not out just to make as much money for us or you because the loss of a close family or friend relationship could be more devastating than the injuries you have suffered. So, we will take into account all of these factors and how to handle a delicate situation.
Many of our cases are contingency-based, meaning our clients pay no attorney fees until an award or settlement occurs. Our experience is your confidence, and we are always willing to take your case to trial. At Beers and Gordon, we understand the long-term implications a catastrophic injury can bring. We strive to restore balance to the lives of those affected by severe injuries.
For those who have experienced the incomprehensible, our team fights for the wrongful death compensation you deserve. You don’t have to face the prospect of suing a family member alone. Let the law offices of Beers and Gordon fight for you and help you receive the compensation you deserve. Beers and Gordon, helping you when you need it most!