I truly cannot tell you how many times a claimant threatened to sue the company when I was adjusting insurance claims. All insurance adjuster learn pretty early on that a person will have a hard time trying to sue someone else’s insurance company for bad claims handling, so never was I ever worried when a third-party claimant threatened suit. In fact, I hoped that they tried so they would learn a lesson. Just the fact that they threatened it made it known to me that they had no clue how to fight with me.
Now that I am a private claims consultant, it is still one of the most common questions I get from individuals who are upset about the way they are being treated by an insurance company. If you’ve found this article by searching the internet for “How to sue an insurance company” or some variation, then you are who I am trying to reach. Please continue reading, the following information is 100% true.
First, please let me explain that in this article, when I say insurance company, I mean the insurance company of somebody else that was negligent in the operation of a motor vehicle and wrecked into you or your car or both. One can successfully sue their own insurance company, but that’s a different article. So now for the no frills answers. . .
So. . . How can I sue the other guy’s Insurance Company over my auto accident?
Answer: The same way you would sue any company. You first have research who will receive notice of the suit (service of process). In most states, the Secretary of State houses the information for the “Agent for Service of Process”. Once you have that information, you could draft a petition / complaint and present it in the proper form to the proper court for legal action to ensue. I can list all the steps, but I won’t. . .
DO NOT TRY AND SUE THE INSURANCE COMPANY! The insurance company will simply argue that you do not have any valid cause of action, and they will be right and will win. Your case will be thrown out. Trust me. You can sue the insurance company, but what will you sue them for? Not being nice when handling your claim? Refusing to pay you what you think is fair? The insurance company must first owe some legal duty to you before you can sue them for a breach of that duty.
In the case of an automobile accident, it is not the insurance company of the person that you sue, but it is the PERSON that you sue. It is the INDIVIDUAL that was driving and sometimes the owner who is responsible for your damages and these are the people who were negligent and against whom you have a valid cause of action for negligence. The duty that average citizens have when using public roadways is that civil law says they must avoid being so negligent as to cause damage to another motorist. If they fail to perform their civil duty, you can sue them over their negligence and if you prove the negligence caused your damages, you normally win (and their insurance company has to pay). Get it? If you don’t, you’ll need to look me up and call me directly for a lengthier explanation.
NOW, don’t be discouraged. When you sue the PERSON that hit you, then in almost every situation, the person’s insurance company (who is being unreasonable) will be forced to defend their insured (the negligent person) in court, so when you sue the PERSON, it causes their insurance company to have to at least use an attorney to answer the suit and show up in court if it gets that far, make sense? Sue the person, not the company.
This article could go on and explain exactly how to sue a person in small claims court too (which is very effective, by the way), but so you don’t lose interest, we’ll end it here.
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