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What if the person who hit you is someone you value?

Being hit by a car can lead to untold hours of physical, emotional and financial struggle. Sometimes, it seems that you have no other choice but to sue the person who hit you and/or the person’s insurance company. But what if the person who hit you is someone you value? After all, most car accidents happen relatively close to home. So, it is possible that your favorite neighbor or the person who babysat you 10 years ago may have hit you.

Suing someone you do not know may be difficult enough. But suing someone you care about, especially if you feel there was no malicious intent?

Look to the insurance company first

This may be cold comfort, but you might be suing the person’s insurance company and not the person himself or herself. Still, it can feel like you are causing trouble in the life of someone you love.

The good news is that many people do realize that more money may be necessary to ease your suffering. Even when a woman in Connecticut sued her cousin’s son for injuring her, the family apparently remained close with the understanding that insurance company requirements meant they had to name someone in the lawsuit. (The woman lost in court.)

So, this person drove a car that hit you. No doubt the person, especially if the warm feelings flow in both directions, wants to help you as much as possible. If that means holding insurance companies accountable, that is probably okay.

Prioritize yourself

Of course, it is also possible that a lawsuit will sour a relationship. The person might accuse you of faking or exaggerating injuries, for example. The overarching question to ask is this: “What happens if I do not get the compensation I need?” Is it worth it to forgo necessary medical treatments in the faint hope to preserve a relationship? What about your quality of life?

A case where you are hit by someone you care about has the potential for thorny issues to arise. For one thing, your lawyer may advise you to not discuss the case with anyone lest misunderstandings or miscommunications occur. One thing is for sure, though — you deserve a full recovery, no matter who hit you.

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