If you were in an accident with a companion in the car, you might be stressed out about what you’re going to do and whether or not your companion has to do the same thing. This can be especially stressful if a lawsuit has to be filed in your case.
Some people want to handle their personal injury case alone. There are several reasons why this motivation exists, but oftentimes, the insurance company will tell people that involving an attorney isn’t a good idea because the attorney’s fees will simply come from the client’s take-home portion, thus reducing the client’s in-pocket amount. There are so many reasons why this isn’t true. First of all, insurance companies try to undervalue cases so much when you’re unrepresented, that your case goes to an entirely different department once you hire an attorney. Second, usually (in far more cases than not) the attorney fees pay for themselves because the offer from the insurance company is so much higher when you have an attorney who knows how to value your case and how to argue what you deserve.
The most simple rule is that whatever your companion does, you don’t have to do simply because it’s what they’re doing. This doesn’t always apply, because if you both file a lawsuit, you may want to do it together, but we’ll address that later.
You may have a companion that doesn’t want to make a case at all, or that wants to represent themselves, or use another attorney. All of these routes are okay! You don’t have to have the same exact path to have a case that you can recover financially from.
Sometimes, an attorney is conflicted out of taking a case. This isn’t super common, but consider the following example: If you were the passenger in a car and the driver of your vehicle did something that put them equally at fault, you may have an issue. An example of these can be seen in a number of ways, and insurance companies will always try to put some blame on the other driver whenever possible.
The reason why this is potentially problematic is because if you have to file a lawsuit, your lawyer needs to do their job by filing a lawsuit against each and every potential party. This would include the driver of your vehicle.
That being said, if you and your driver both sign up with one law firm, the lawyer won’t be able to file a lawsuit against their own client, or past client. Therefore, the attorney may not be able to represent both parties.
There are a few instances when a signature can be signed to overcome a conflict, but that’s not always the case and in any situation, your attorney should spell out the facts and risks to you and your case.
Here’s when it gets tricky if you and your companion want to do separate things when it comes to your personal injury case. If you and your companion both need to file a lawsuit, this would be considered one suit, and not two separate suits. So if both they you file different suits, the court will likely combine them into one single action.
In any event, it’s good to know that if you were in an accident and you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, you have rights. These rights exist whether or not your companion wants to pursue legal avenues, and whether or not you were partially at fault. The best way to see what your options are is to talk to a personal injury attorney. Many PI attorneys schedule free consultations, so you can call and set one up today.