Do I Have to Sue My Friend?
Personal injuries can be costly, debilitating, and life changing. Remember the McDonald’s hot coffee case? When people heard the jury verdict, many called the lawsuit frivolous and the monetary award outrageous, but for a person whose life is forever changed by the negligent actions of another, there is nothing “frivolous” about seeking money to pay your medical bills and compensate you for your losses, especially when the company has millions in assets. The 79-year old McDonald's victim suffered painful third-degree burns, had to get skin grafts on her inner thighs, and racked up sky-high medical bills. McDonald’s “generously” offered her $800 to satisfy the injury, while a jury awarded her $3,000,000 – based on the extent of damages she actually suffered and the company’s knowledge and disregard of the risks and harm.
So what do you do if your injury is caused by a friend and not a multi-national corporation?
Unfortunately, anyone can cause a personal injury: friends, colleagues, neighbors, the list goes on. And while it isn’t always socially acceptable to sue your neighbor for damages, failure to do so can cost you more than just your medical bills.
First, it is important to know your legal rights. If you are injured by a third party's negligence, you have a right to seek financial recovery. In many cases, such as some auto accidents and premises liability cases, the injury is covered by the negligent party's insurance company. This means that you are not technically suing your "friend" but the insurance provider. Accident victims often forget that even though you may be suing a friend, maybe even someone who makes less money or has fewer assets than you, these accidents are often the type of events that insurance covers: health insurance, car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, travel insurance, worker’s compensation, etc…
Second, you may want to have a civil conversation with the individual and let them know that this is not a personal claim against them, but an effort by you to ensure that you are not out of pocket for expenses related to the injury.
Third, stay off social media. For many reasons, social media is not the best place to spend your time during a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney can discuss the potential issues in greater detail
Do not delay in contacting an experienced accident lawyer immediately after an accident occurs. It is important to know your legal rights from the get go. When it comes to accidents, medical expenses often aren’t just the immediate, foreseeable bills, but include the long-term damage and complications that arise from the accident and surgeries associated with it. For a more in depth analysis of your legal rights and your ability to recover financial damages for your injuries, contact the experienced injury lawyers at Ghozland Law Firm today.