How do I go about suing the other party?

My brother and I were in an accident where the other driver ran a red light and hit our car. Our car was totaled, airbags deployed. She received a red ticket citation which she appealed and lost at court. Her insurance company at first denied liability, but after she lost the citation appeal, offered only 50. The accident happened late at night and there were no witnesses. Her statements varied from the police statement to the her court statement at the red light citation hearing. How do I go about suing this lady? Do I sue her or the insurance company? Do I need a lawyer?

Asked on June 6, 2017 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You would sue the at-fault party (lady) for negligence.  You won't be suing her insurance company unless you had a stronger case for a bad faith claim.  Their low offer standing alone is not sufficient to pursue a bad faith claim against the insurance company.
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the property damage (cost of repairs) to your car.
Depending on the amount of your damages, you may be able to file your lawsuit in small claims court.  There are no attorneys in small claims court.  In addition to the property damage to your vehicle, upon prevailing in the case you can also recover court costs such as the court filing fee and process server fee.  You can enforce a court judgment with a wage garnishment.
 If the amount of your damages exceeds the maximum for small claims court, you will need to file your lawsuit in a higher court.  You will have difficulty finding an attorney to represent you because there weren't any injuries in the accident.


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