Is it possible to recover damages from someone’s home insurance policy if there is a car accident? Well, unless you crash right into their house or there is some kind of accident on the property of a home covered with homeowner’s insurance, it’s unlikely. Here are some more details.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you only have the right to sue if you live in a tort state. If you have limited tort then you cannot sue for pain and suffering, only major injuries. In a no-fault state, on the other hand, each person’s insurance covers the damages and therefore, you lose the right to sue.
If you do hire an attorney to sue another driver after an accident, you may be able to go after some of their assets. Since there are not any benefits from a homeowner’s policy, unless a legitimate claim is filed, this is not an avenue to pursue.
Homeowner’s insurance companies do not award benefits for car accidents (unless damage to a vehicle happens on the property), so there is nothing to gain directly from going after a homeowner’s insurance policy.
How to Proceed with a Lawsuit after a Car Accident
A lawyer will not only address your query but will guide you through the compensation process.
If you choose to forego legal representation in favor of dealing with the insurance companies yourself, you will likely find yourself facing an uphill battle as you fight large, experienced corporations that are intent on discrediting you and paying out the smallest settlement they can get away with.
A respected lawyer will make sure they don’t get away with anything.
The costs and fees associated with hiring a lawyer are an area of great concern to most individuals seeking compensation for a car accident. Personal injury lawyers understand this fact and have instituted protocols that ensure access to qualified legal representation to all victims.
A common method personal injury lawyers use to make their services accessible to a wider range of clients is called the contingency fee.
If you are wondering what the definition of a contingency fee is, the answer is: this term refers to a method by which personal injury lawyers receive a fee only if they win the case. The client does not have to pay the lawyer’s fee if the case is not settled in his favor.
There still may be some costs for which the client will be responsible, however, so it is important to be aware of all possible costs before initiating a relationship with any lawyer. Filing fees incurred when a case goes to trial is one example of costs a client will likely have to pay even if he is not victorious in his lawsuit.
Costs of Filing a Lawsuit after a Car Accident
Contingency fees charged by personal injury lawyers usually range from 25-40% of the amount awarded to the victim. Some states have enacted legislation that requires lawyers to adhere to strict regulations when it comes to contingency fees.
For example, New Jersey’s legislature determined that personal injury lawyers may earn 1/3 of up to $500,000 for cases involving adults and 25% of up to $500,000 for cases involving minors. Rates for cases in excess of $500,000 were determined by a ruling of the New Jersey Supreme Court.
California, on the other hand, has no contingency fee regulations beyond requiring that all agreements be in writing.
In states that do not govern contingency fees, the old saying, “you get what you pay for,” rings especially true.
Going with the most inexpensive attorney is not necessarily the best move, as his inexperience may mean less of an award or, worse yet, a lost case.
If you choose a highly recommended lawyer who charges a slightly higher contingency fee, you still may end up with more money in your pocket because of the larger award the lawyer may earn for you.
How can I find a good lawyer?
Here are some recommendations for finding a good lawyer:
- Word of mouth remains one of the best ways to find a personal injury lawyer.
- You can also look in the Yellow Pages or at online listings.
- Be aware that some practices focus on narrow areas of personal injury litigation. Some examples may include expertise in car accidents, head injuries, and product liability related accidents.
- Choosing the firm with the most experience in the area of your claim can help your case tremendously.
Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations. These consultations do not bind you to the lawyer. You are under no obligation whatsoever to hire a lawyer just because you sat through a consultation with him or her. Sometimes it takes consultations with several lawyers before you find the one with which you are truly comfortable.
Some of the questions you may consider asking at a consultation include categories such as:
- areas of expertise
- number of similar cases handled
- success rate
- methods of lawyer/client communication
- trial rates and outcomes
- the average duration of cases
Finding the best personal injury lawyer for your case will help ensure the largest reward when dealing with insurance involving a car accident.
Comparing Car Insurance Quotes
How do you find the best insurance to protect yourself in the event of a car accident? Using our online quote comparison tool will allow you to look at many different insurance companies using your unique personal criteria.
By carefully evaluating various insurance companies according to the same specifications, you can locate the car insurance policy that gives you personalized protection for the best price.