By Ben Sessions on November 9th, 2021 in
Question: I was hurt, but I am worried about suing someone personally. Why can’t I just sue their insurance company?
Answer: This is a legitimate concern that many people have. I hear from many clients that have been seriously injured in car accidents that they do not want to file a lawsuit against the person that caused their injuries because they do not want to take their wages, their home, or disrupt their life. Many injured people simply want to get what they are owed as a result of their injuries without disrupting the life of the person that caused their injuries. For that reason, many people simply want to make a claim and file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Unfortunately, in Georgia, in most car accident cases, you are not permitted to make a claim or file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
“The general rule in Georgia is that ‘a party may not bring a direct action against the liability insurer of the party who allegedly caused the damage unless there is an unsatisfied judgment against the insured or it is specifically permitted either by statute or a provision in the policy.’ ” McGill v. Am. Trucking & Transp. Ins. Co., 77 F.Supp.3d 1261, 1264-65 (N.D. Ga. 2015) (quoting Hartford Ins. Co. v. Henderson & Son, Inc., 258 Ga. 493, 494, 371 S.E.2d 401 (1988)). However, Georgia has codified statutory exceptions to this rule, the direct action statutes, which permit a direct action by an injured party against an insurance carrier which insures a motor carrier.”
Nat’l Indem. Co. v. Lariscy, 352 Ga. App. 446, 449, 835 S.E.2d 307, 311 (2019).
Generally, you will know whether the at-fault driver who caused your injuries has an insurance policy available to pay for your injuries prior to the filing of a lawsuit. However, in the event that we are unable to obtain insurance coverage information quickly, we frequently advise clients to move forward with the filing of a lawsuit. After a lawsuit is filing, we will be able to require the defendant/at-fault driver to answer questions about insurance coverage and and available assets to pay for any judgment obtained against him/her.
If you have been injured in a car accident and you’re unsure about how to proceed, contact Sessions & Fleischman today for a free consultation. We will help you understand your available options and how to get you the compensation that you deserve as quickly as possible.