Visitor Question

Children Injured in Head On Crash…

Submitted By: Sue (Minnesota)

My grandkids were in a head on crash with their other grandma. The other grandma was driving with the 7 yr old in back seat belted in his booster seat, the 9 yr old was belted in the front seat. She crossed the center and hit an oncoming car head on.

The 7 yr old was air lifted to the medical facility with injuries, the 9 year old was taken by ambulance. I understand this gets turned over to the parents’ car insurance even though their car was not even involved, and from there it goes to their medical insurance.

My question is, when does the drivers’ insurance (the other grandma) come into play? Should the parents of these children at least have a consult with a lawyer to protect themselves financially?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Sue,

From the facts you present there does not seem to be any practical or legal reason for these cases to be turned over to the parents’ car insurance.

That’s not the way it works. The person who caused the collision (in this case the grandmother), is from what you have described exclusively liable for the collision and subsequent injuries to the children.

As a result the parents of the children must first seek compensation from the grandmother’s car insurance company, and not their own.

In the event the grandmother’s insurance coverage is not sufficient to pay for all of the boys’ medical costs, then the parents can turn to their own insurance car insurance to pay the difference, or the ‘gap” in insurance coverage.

If that happens their insurance company may later pursue the grandmother to have her pay out of her own pocket any money the parents’ car insurance had to pay.

This would be called “Subrogating” their claim.

You ask if the parents should consult with an Attorney to protect themselves financially. They should. But they should not be concerned so much at this time with protecting themselves financially.

Although the Attorney will discuss that issue with them, it’s much more likely the Attorney will help them navigate their way through what looks like a complicated claim against the grandmother’s insurance company. Most Personal Injury Attorneys will not charge any fee for an initial office consultation.

Knowing their rights, and the duties and obligations of the grandmother and her insurance company is very important at this time.

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

Best of luck,

Published: August 31, 2011

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