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Personal Injury Lawsuits Against Friends or Family- Is It a Good Idea?

When you've been injured and suffered damages due to the actions of a friend or family member, things can quickly become awkward. Here's what you should do.

More often than not, when someone files a personal injury claim, they have been injured due to the negligence of a stranger. That said, we do encounter cases where the person who caused an injury is a family member, friend, or acquaintance. 

Whether the injury is a result of a car accident, slip and fall, dog bite, or some other event, most people are hesitant to pursue a personal injury claim against someone they know for fear of ruining the relationship. 

We understand this is an awkward and delicate situation. We also want you to understand the potential consequences and options you have before making a decision. As an Attorney in Hamilton Ohio, we have seen personal injury claims filed successfully and relationships remain intact. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind. 

Your Health insurance

Regardless of whether you choose to file a personal injury claim, you may rely on your own health insurance to cover your medical treatment. Health insurance will only cover your medical bills. This will be helpful in many ways, but may not cover all your expenses as a result of your injury. Your health insurance will NOT cover:

  • Loss of income: You may need to stay home from work to recover or may need to miss several days over the course of the next few weeks to get the treatment you need. In some cases, people suffer temporary or permanent disabilities that prevent them from earning what they did prior to the accident. 
  • Significant pain and suffering: Your pain and suffering may have a significant impact on your quality of life. You may have difficulty sleeping, may be unable to enjoy your hobbies, or simply be unable to care for yourself or your family as you once did. 
  • Out-of-pocket medical expenses: this could include your deductible or co-pays. 

If you rely on your health insurance to cover your injuries, you could be looking at losing thousands of dollars as a result. Your only option to recoup these losses is to pursue a claim for compensation. A skilled personal injury lawyer will know how to navigate this difficult situation. 

The Other Person’s Insurance

Many times people find it helpful to recognize that you won’t be pursuing a claim against your family or friend personally rather against their insurance company. This makes it feel a little less personal.  If suit needs to be filed, that person will be named, but their insurer will hire an attorney to defend them.

The vast majority of personal injury claims are settled with the insurance company, which will execute the entire claim process. They will decide whether or not to settle the claim and for how much money. Beyond providing their own version of events, your friend or family member will have no role in deciding the outcome of your claim. 

The Nature of Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims are almost always a result of negligence, carelessness, and unfortunate accidents. We get it.. Accidents happen, but they do have consequences. 

Personal injury claims are civil cases, not criminal. When filing a personal injury claim you are not saying your friend or family member is a bad person or sentencing them to criminal consequences. You are simply seeking compensation for the damages that resulted from whatever negligence. 

Injured? Contact a Personal Injury Attorney 

An experienced personal injury lawyer will not only be able to make sure you receive fair compensation for your injury and losses but will also help you navigate the different dynamics of your claim, including your relationship with the defendant. 

If you have been injured in an accident, Rhys Richards of The Richards Firm is an experienced attorney in Hamilton Ohio.

We use our proven approach to provide you with the answers that you need with a family approach. Call The Richards Firm today for practical, no-nonsense advice on your legal matter. When you call us, you speak to an attorney, not answering services, receptionists, or legal assistants

We can be reached at 513-868-2731, ext. 219 or visit us at

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