On average, spouses spend several hours of each day together, so the risk of having a car accident while you’re driving in the same vehicle is surprisingly high.
If your spouse runs a red light, rear-ends a vehicle, or does something else that causes an accident, you might be wondering how to receive compensation for your damages. You could even be curious whether you can sue your spouse for lost wages and medical bills.
The short answer is yes; you can sue your spouse, but the actual process is different than most people expect.
Why You Might Want to Sue Your Spouse
Any time someone else’s negligence or reckless driving causes an accident, you can seek compensation from the at-fault driver. But what happens if the person who caused your accident is your spouse?
Before you start wondering if suing your spouse will damage the relationship, it’s important to realize that you won’t actually be serving your spouse with court papers and running them through the proverbial financial wringer.
Instead, you will file a personal injury claim against your spouse’s insurance company. This is possible even if you have a joint insurance policy.
How to File a Personal Injury Claim Against Your Spouse
Whenever there’s a car accident with injuries, the first recommended action is to seek a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
In Oklahoma, like several other states, there could be exclusions for claims due to having family ties, and there are often statutory limits to what you can receive. However, there are exceptions, and we can check your policy’s fine print to determine the best path to move forward with a claim.
Filing a personal injury claim against a spouse can get complicated, and insurance companies often view these cases skeptically. They may accuse you (or at least be suspicious) of you and your spouse colluding to file a false claim and collect a check. By having a police report, witness statements, and other evidence from the accident scene, you can improve the chances of your case going smoothly.
From a practical standpoint, a personal injury claim against a spouse works much like any other personal injury claim, and you can leave your marriage intact. The first step is to contact an attorney to get an overview of your options.
Why Contact a Personal Injury Attorney?
Any time you’re in an injury accident, it’s recommended to at least consult with an attorney to find out what your options are. Personal injury attorneys help accident victims with the following:
- Investigating a car accident to gather evidence to support your claim
- Negotiating with insurance companies for maximum settlements
- Working with doctors and other creditors to delay billing until after you receive a settlement check
- Helping you understand and fight for your overall rights
- Litigating in court (if settlement talks are unsuccessful)
Accident lawyers file claims with insurance companies to seek maximum compensation for their injuries, even if the other party is your spouse.
If a favorable settlement can’t be reached and the insurance company refuses to budge, the case may go to court. Assuming that you and your spouse want to preserve your relationship (and you share assets jointly), this route is not recommended. Instead, your personal injury lawyer will work with your spouse’s insurer to negotiate a favorable settlement outside of the court system.
Contact an Experienced Injury Accident Attorney in OKC Today
Deciding to file a personal injury claim against your spouse might feel awkward, but if you’ve been injured in an accident caused by your partner, seeking compensation for your damages is still within your rights. Put the experience of Oklahoma car accident attorney Bryan Garrett, PLLC, to work, and contact us for a free consultation.