If you were involved in an automobile accident you need to understand your legal options. For example, if you are unable to come to a settlement with the insurance company of a driver who caused an accident in which you are involved, you may wonder how to bring a lawsuit that includes the driver's insurance company. There are specific procedures you need to follow to ensure that the court has jurisdiction over the car insurance company in question.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Petition in civil court
Obtain from the clerk of the court the basic forms needed to pursue a civil lawsuit. Most clerk's offices maintain a wide range of necessary forms to assist people involved in civil matters who do not have legal representation. Included with these forms will be a petition, the legal document that commences a lawsuit.
Prepare the petition. In order to bring the car insurance company into a lawsuit, you need to file suit against the driver of the other car that caused the accident. You can include the insurance company as an additional defendant in the petition. However, because the company insures the other driver, that company becomes a part of the lawsuit both because of the insurance policy and the operation of the law.
Request that the clerk of the court arrange to have the driver you are suing served with a copy of the petition together with a summons. The summons is a legal document advising the defendant of what she needs to do to respond to the petition. Serving the defendant brings the defendant's car insurance company into the case, again because of the provisions of the insurance policy and the applicable civil law in your state.
Tips and warnings
- Consider hiring an attorney to represent you if you intend to pursue a lawsuit arising out of a car accident. These cases are complex and are best undertaken with professional assistance.
- Make sure you file the lawsuit within the time frame set forth by law. Each state has what is known as a statute of limitations. This law normally gives a person two or three years to file this type of lawsuit. You need to confirm the time frame in your own state.
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