Unfortunately, the general rule is that you cannot file a direct suit against the at-fault party’s insurance company.  In a typical car accident case, the presence or absence of insurance is not admissible in court.  This is called the collateral source rule.  Therefore, if you must file a lawsuit, the lawsuit will be filed against the at-fault party, individually.  However, if there is insurance coverage, the defendant’s insurance carrier will have to pay judgment up to the policy limits.  The defendant’s insurance company will also provide the defendant an attorney.

The only exception to this rule is in trucking cases.  In some circumstances, you may file a lawsuit directly against the insurance company. This can very much work to the advantage of a claimant in a trucking case.  So if you have been in a trucking accident, you should definitely seek the advice of a skilled trucking accident attorney to see if this exception applies.

Christopher J. Hudson
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Local Augusta lawyer specializing in mass tort workers' comp, car accident and personal injury claims.

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