For most people married people, the person they will spend the most time driving and riding with in the car is their spouse. While we all wish that our respective spouses were perfect drivers who would never become distracted while driving or drive too fast in bad weather, everyone makes mistakes while driving from time to time. Sometimes, those mistakes lead to accidents that cause serious injuries, for either you or your spouse. When these mistakes happen, not only do the injuries themselves cause stress on the family, but long-term injuries can cause significant financial stress as well. So can, and should, you sue your spouse if you’re injured in a car wreck in North Carolina?
If you’re injured in a collision in which your spouse is at fault, most people’s first instinct would not be thinking about whether they can sue their negligent spouse. That’s natural—you are members of the same household, and likely share your finances and expenses. Also, we all know that our spouses did not intentionally hurt us; the accident was just a regrettable mistake. However, a serious collision can result in serious bills and expenses that need to be paid. So, what are your options when your spouse unintentionally injures you in a motor vehicle collision?
You can sue your spouse for injuries caused by a car wreck in North Carolina if it was your spouse’s fault, and your spouse’s insurance company will be responsible to pay out damages on the insurance company’s liability policy. Motor vehicle insurance policies in North Carolina compensate individuals injured by negligent drivers, even when that injured person is the spouse of the negligent driver.
North Carolina, unlike some other states, does not have a prohibition against a person suing their spouse for a motor vehicle collision. Of course, insurance companies understand most people would are very uncomfortable pursuing a claim against their spouse and use this discomfort to their advantage to wrongfully deny claims that the insurance company is otherwise on the hook for paying.
Insurance companies, even your own, are not your friends, and are unlikely to let you know that you are entitled to compensation when your spouse negligently causes you injury in a car wreck.
Even in situations where a car insurance company may otherwise voluntarily compensate you for your injuries, these companies may choose to deny your claim solely because they believe you will not follow through against your spouse for a recovery.
Why would I sue my Spouse for a Car Wreck?
If you and your spouse get into a car wreck with another vehicle, most people’s initial reaction would be to blame the other driver. Many people find it difficult to blame their spouse for accidently causing them injury, as this can cause a significant amount of stress to your marriage. However, sometimes it is impossible to ignore the fact that the car wreck was your spouse’s fault, especially in a rear end collision or a single vehicle collision, such as hydroplaning off the road during bad weather. When there is a wreck where it’s perfectly clear that it was your spouse’s fault, and you’ve suffered significant injuries, you need to decide whether you should sue your spouse to try to make a recovery against their car insurance policy.
Driving is the most dangerous activity that most North Carolinians do on a regular basis, and even a split second of inattention can have serious repercussions.
You should sue your spouse for your injures in a car wreck not because you are upset with them, but because you and your spouse have been paying car insurance premiums every month precisely for this type of situation. Your spouse’s liability insurance policy is designed to compensate anyone who is injured as a result of your spouse’s mistakes, regardless of who that person may be.
Declining to recover against an insurance policy will only put unnecessary stress on you and your family as you attempt to recover from your injuries. You may even have missed work and have lost wages. Your spouse’s insurance company is on the hook to pay these damages.
How do I sue my spouse for a car wreck?
If your spouse’s insurance company refuses to pay for your damages on a valid insurance claim, you may have to actually follow through with filing a lawsuit against your spouse. Melrose Law routinely handles cases where their client is forced to file a lawsuit against their spouse to obtain compensation from their spouse’s insurance company. We have the expertise to handle this delicate situation in compassionate manner, and to explain to both you and your spouse what to expect.
While the lawsuit process is necessarily an adversarial proceeding, you are still free to discuss your injuries and your concerns with your spouse. Your spouse’s insurance company will hire an attorney to represent your spouse, and our law firm has found in most situations that the insurance company will quickly begin to work to resolve your claim once a lawsuit is filed.
We will work with your medical providers and employer to gather the records necessary to obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries. Insurance companies often realize they made a mistake in not just settling with you from the start, as in the long run they oftentimes end up paying more money by forcing you to retain a law firm to help you with your claim.
We know that mistakes happen, and we are here to help you get back on your feet.
Can I sue a friend who was driving my car?
Yes, you can. While the majority of our single car claims we pursue are between members of a family, this same principal applies to friends as well. In addition, you may have multiple policies to pursue if a friend was driving, as you can get liability coverage under her insurance policy and your own, and also underinsured motorist coverage under both policies as well.
You do not have to try to collect from your friend above and beyond the insurance money, so don’t worry about that.
Can I sue my child who was driving my car?
There is no doubt that this whole idea sounds awful, but we all know that younger adults sometimes make mistakes while driving. Yes, you can pursue insurance money against your own child as well. The same idea applies–you can just get car insurance money, and you don’t have to try to somehow collect money from your own child.
If you’ve been injured in a car wreck in North Carolina where your spouse was the driver, please contact Melrose Law today to see what your options are for obtaining compensation for your injuries from your spouse’s insurance company. Melrose Law offers a free, no-strings-attached, case evaluation, and we will let you know whether we believe that we can help you with your claim. Give us a call today at 800-222-2430, or you can reach us through online through our contact form on our Contact Page.