What to do if your friend or family member caused your Virginia car accident?

Let’s say you and your friend or family member decide to take a drive.  During the trip he or she causes a car accident, and you’re injured.  You’re probably concerned about ruining your relationship with that person if you seek to be compensated.  If that person is a true friend or family member, remind them that it’s all about the insurance. 

If you can’t come to an agreement with the auto insurance companies, the law forces you to sue.

If you are significantly injured due to their negligence, and there’s enough insurance to cover your claim, the car insurance companies will likely make you fight for the money.  And to do that, it will often times require you to file a law suit. 

Here’s the problem – when filing the law suit, you have to name your friend or family member, and not the insurance company.  This may seem harsh and illogical, but that’s generally the nature of insurance law in Virginia. 

I don’t want to ruin their life!

Look, it’s not fun to be sued.  But in reality, in most cases, you will be seeking compensation from the insurance companies and not the person directly.  (Note – if there’s insufficient insurance money, you can pursue money directly from the person, but that is your choice, not a requirement).   If the insurance company agrees to pay a fair value, the law suit will be dropped (or it may not have to be filed in the first place).  And even if you go to trial, assuming enough insurance money, the funds will come from the insurer. 

They will be mad at me. 

I get it, it’s not a fun conversation to have.  But if your friend or family member caused you injury due to their negligence, they should understand that you have to take steps to be compensated.  Hopefully, once they understand that it’s about insurance money, they will understand.  If not, well that’s their issue, not yours.


If you have any questions about Virginia car accident claims, feel  free to reach out at 703-591-9829. 

Ben Glass
Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney