Although it may seem counterintuitive, suing a friend or family member after a car accident is a smart move. This is what’s frequently referred to as a “friendly claim,” and it doesn’t affect your friend or family member’s finances at all. At Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C., our New York City car accident lawyers have helped many injured individuals file friendly claims against loved ones. We understand this can be a difficult decision, especially when the defendant is someone you care about. We’ll take the time to fully explain the situation so that everyone is clear about the motivation and process.

Is it wrong to sue a friend or family member after a car accident?

It’s perfectly natural to feel a bit anxious about the prospect of filing a claim against a loved one. However, it’s important to understand that you wouldn’t technically be filing a claim against them. Instead, you would be filing the claim against their insurance company. In other words, you wouldn’t be asking your friend to pay thousands of dollars for your injuries. Instead, your friend’s insurance company would cover the damages.

You have the right to file a claim after suffering serious injuries. And in fact, you might not have a choice. Health care is exorbitantly expensive. It can cost several thousand dollars per day just to be hospitalized—on top of the cost of surgeries, medications, and therapies. It’s unreasonable to expect that you would shoulder the cost by yourself, especially when you can have an insurance company pay for it.

What happens when you sue a friend or family member?

It’s not uncommon for friends or family members to be passengers in each other’s cars. When you sue them, your lawyer will ensure that the only money collected comes from their insurance company.

Special circumstances exist when a child is injured. If one parent were driving, the other parent would need to bring the claim on behalf of the minor child. If it’s a single-parent family, the court can appoint a guardian. Any compensation from the insurance company as a result of a claim will be funneled into a trust account– until the child turns 18.

What to say to friends or family about a claim

It may be best to start by explaining the facts about your finances and your medical expenses. This enables them to see the situation from your point of view.

Then, explain that you’re retained the services of New York City personal injury lawyers to file a claim against their insurance company. Emphasize that you’re suing the insurance company, not them, and clarify that they won’t be expected to pay for the damages.

Contact us for a free consultation

We have been serving New York City residents for more than 50 years, providing trustworthy guidance and vigorous legal representation. We can often secure compensation for our clients without going to court or filing a lawsuit, but we are fully prepared to litigate. Contact us today to request a free initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer.