What Does Sue Mean?
In the wake of an accident, you often have to navigate complex insurance terms and confusing legal jargon. This is difficult for most people, but is especially challenging for those who are reeling after a crash. Before anything happens, it’s best to learn what exactly it means to sue someone.
It’s best to start with the basics and work through the legal process one step at a time. Let’s explore what it means to sue someone and what goes into a lawsuit.
What does it mean to sue someone?
Suing has been adopted as the casual verb form of the term “lawsuit.” When you bring legal action against someone, you file a claim or lawsuit. The act of bringing forth a lawsuit is known as suing or taking steps to sue someone.
Modern media has created a negative connotation around the concept of lawsuits. People often threaten to sue when they want a lot of money from a business or want to inflict financial pain on another person. You often hear about celebrities suing gossip magazines for spreading negative stories or ex-employees suing employers for poor treatment. While these are common examples of lawsuits, the vast majority of cases are actually claims brought to insurance companies to cover medical damages.
For example, in the case of an auto accident, you wouldn’t sue your friend for getting into a crash. Your friend wouldn’t be personally responsible for paying your medical bills because they have auto insurance to cover those costs. Instead, your lawsuit would be directed toward the auto insurance provider so you’re not stuck footing the bill.
What does the lawsuit process look like?
The concept of a lawsuit is intimidating to many people, which is why they hesitate to bring a case forward. People tend to picture dramatic courtroom scenes, debates over minor details, and even years worth of work before the case is settled. But this isn’t really what it means to sue someone; this is another myth that comes with the idea of lawsuits, as most cases look nothing like this.
More than 90 percent of lawsuits end pre-trial, typically in mediation. Your lawyer and the lawyer for the insurance company will present their offers and both parties will work together to reach an agreement. It is only when these meetings break down and neither side is willing to compromise that the lawsuit goes before the court.
By hiring a lawyer, you can avoid a lot of the work that comes with pre-trial and trial preparation. Your lawyer and their staff will gather materials and collect information to make a case in your favor.
While your lawyer is there to guide you through the lawsuit process, they will do the majority of the work and you can enjoy the professional representation of someone who has worked with difficult insurance companies before.
What is your insurance designed to cover?
Not only is it important to learn what it means to sue, but it’s also important to learn how you are covered. Our clients are often surprised by the amount of money that their insurance companies are willing to pay — and not in a good way. They wonder what their insurance actually covers if they receive so little when they file a claim. A lawyer’s job is to work with insurance companies to make sure you are fairly compensated so you’re not stuck with the first offer they send to you.
You pay into your insurance with the idea that you may need it to cover your expenses someday. No one intends to get into a car accident, but they want to be prepared in the event that it happens. However, your insurance company doesn’t want to pay you what you need to cover your expenses. They make money when you don’t file a claim or when they underpay you. As a result, you might not have enough money to cover your basic costs.
In particular, your auto insurance is designed to cover your medical expenses and auto repair costs. Most policies also cover passengers in your car and protect you if the driver at fault doesn’t have insurance.
People often exclude certain expenses in claims because they aren’t sure that their insurance provider covers it, not because they don’t want the expenses paid for.
What kinds of lawsuits come out of car accidents?
Lawsuits against insurance companies are commonly found after car accidents. According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), there were 273,473 car crashes in 2016. Of that total, 62,690 crashes caused injuries to the drivers or passengers and 210,213 accidents led to property damage only.
Drivers and passengers bring lawsuits against insurance companies when they don’t cover accidents the way they should. If the people involved in a car accident pay into their insurance but don’t receive compensation for medical care or car repair, then the insurance company isn’t doing its job.
If you want to learn more about what it means to sue someone, lawsuits, and personal injury claims against insurance companies, contact our team at Console & Associates. We can help you learn more about your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve.