When we represent a client in an auto accident case, our firm makes a claim against the driver’s insurance company, and it is the insurer who will usually pay out money to settle the case. If the insurance company does not make a fair offer, we will file a lawsuit. But the lawsuit is against the driver, not the insurance company.
Even so, the insurance company remains responsible to pay any judgment against the driver. This means that, in the vast majority of cases, it’s the insurance company who is controlling the legal defense in a lawsuit. The insurance company will provide the defendant with a free lawyer. And the insurance company’s lawyer will only offer as much money to settle the case, as the insurance company allows.
In many ways, it really is like we are suing the insurance company, although on paper it’s the driver alone who is the defendant. Still, being aware of the insurance company’s role is helpful to understand the dynamics of an auto accident lawsuit.