Mother Hit by a Car and Killed...

by Jessica
(New York)

My mom died last year after getting hit by a woman driving her car. My mom was in the hospital fighting for her life for 5 hours. She suffered several injuries but couldn't overcome them and died.

Is her death grounds for a lawsuit against the driver of the car who hit her? What happens if the person who hit her does not have insurance? Thanks for any info you can give.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Mother Hit by a Car and Killed...":

Jessica (New York):

Although your facts don't indicate the other driver was at fault in the collision, we will presumed for this case evaluation she was. If so your mother's estate has what is called a "wrongful death" claim against the owner and driver of the vehicle which caused her death.

If the at-fault driver carried liability insurance at the time of the collision and the at-fault driver's insurance company agree their insured's actions caused the collision, which by itself caused your mother's death, the insurance company would in all probability offer their "limits". Offering their limits means the insurance company won't attempt to negotiate a lower settlement than the amount of insurance carried by their insured.

If the at fault driver did not have liability insurance at the time of the collision then your mother's estate would only have access to the driver's assets. If the driver had substantial assets and it was determined by a court that the driver was at fault you would be able to secure a "Judgment" from the Court which could be turned into a Court ordered "Levy".

A levy is a legal mechanism by which a court orders the local sheriff to go to a person's bank accounts or other assets and seize them. Once seized they can be liquidated to pay the court ordered judgment previously rendered against the at fault driver.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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