When we take a case to trial, one question our Vancouver and Washington state clients typically ask is, “Why am I suing the other driver? Why can’t I sue their insurance company instead?” The answer is a bit complicated. Legally, you will never sue the insurance company. It is against the law in Washington State to mention the name of the other driver’s insurance company in the courtroom. If your case goes to trial, you will be, in the eyes of the law, suing the other driver.
However, in a trial, the other driver will be represented by an attorney from the insurance company. The insurance company’s attorney will present arguments before the court in line with insurance company policies and business goals. The insurance company lawyer will be fighting to protect, above all else, insurance company assets to pay out as little as possible to the victim. They will use every dirty trick in the book to avoid paying out a fair settlement.
So, while you are technically suing the other driver, the insurance company attorneys will be there in that courtroom fighting for the best interests of the insurance company. (They could actually not care less about the health and well-being of their client!) While this is a frustrating situation legally, an experienced Vancouver injury attorney with your best interests at heart will understand and communicate this to you in the period of time leading up to a trial.
What you do immediately after an accident is extremely important
Even though you’re suing the other driver, the insurance company is most interested in protecting their bottom line, not providing fair compensation for injured people. That means that in the days and weeks immediately following an accident, the insurance company will resort to underhanded tactics in the hopes that you’ll sign away potentially thousands of dollars — money that you’ll need to pay medical bills, make up for time away from work, and other losses. We suggest that you don’t sign anything the insurance adjuster sends you until you talk to a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney. If you do, your whole case could be over before it has begun. Questions? Give us a call at 206-285-1743 or visit one of our Seattle, Bellevue, or Vancouver locations.