Teen Car Crash Liability?

by Laura
(Oklahoma)

There was a teen car crash when my 16 year old son was driving down a dirt road, had a blow out and hit a tree. He had two other boys with him, one is 16 and the other is 14. The two 16 year old boys had on seat belts but the 14 year old did not.

The 14 year old was flown to a Dallas hospital and the other two boys were taken to a local hospital. My son was driving his grandfather’s truck (with permission) and there was only liability insurance on the vehicle. The insurance has decided they may not win in court so they are going to make a settlement offer.

The insurance policy will only pay up to $25,000 but there was Uninsured motorist on the vehicle that will cover another $25,000. The insurance company has not gotten the other boy's medical bills yet but he wasn't hurt badly.

I am afraid the $50,000 will not cover all the medical bills for the 14 year old. I was told that unless the 14 year old's parents and lawyer does not sign a waiver that they can not come back and file a claim against me, my son, or my dad or they will not pay any of the claim.

If they don't sign the waiver can they come after me and my dad? We do not have any savings or money. My dad does have a little land that is mortgaged. Can they come after us and what will happen if they do come after us? Thanks,

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Teen Car Crash Liability?":

Laura:

Once the insurance proceeds from liability and uninsured motorist policies have been exhausted, the injured party does have the right to pursue additional amounts against the at-fault party.

If the parents of the 14 year old do not sign a waiver it is improbable they will continue legal action against you or you dad. To do so they will have to hire attorneys to pursue the case.

The legal fees will most likely not be contingent, meaning the parents will have to pay the lawyers expensive hourly fees in advance with no guarantee of success. And the success they might achieve would not be worth all the money they would have to spend in advance.

They will probably consider you and your dad’s limited finances. In all probability they will decide not to pursue legal action against either of you. Their decision may be based upon principle or cost effectiveness. Either way you and your dad should be fine.

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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