Can I sue for personal injury negligence? 35 Answers as of June 26, 2013

A woman knowing a man had no driver's license let him borrow her car. He pulled out in front of me on my motorcycle and I spent 6 days in the hospital with injuries for life. The lawyer can only get 50k on 100k policy on her insurance. Can I go after her for negligence?

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Ryan L. Hilts, Attorney at Law
Ryan L. Hilts, Attorney at Law | Ryan L. Hilts
The amount they are offering IS for the negligence that caused your injury.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 11/19/2011
Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry
Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry | Ronald Arthur Lowry
There is theoretically a cause of action (grounds for a lawsuit) against someone for "negligent entrustment" when a person lets someone use his/her car when that driver is not competent to drive. Such a claim probably would not increase the amount of available liability insurance coverage. That would be a way to get at the owner's personal assets, however. Harder to prove than regular simple negligence, though.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 11/17/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
This is a difficult question, in a way. The ultimate question for you is are you willing to run the chance of getting what you want by suing the lady. The existence of a policy does not mean tht you can collect all of it. The $100K in the policy is for the event of multiple victims. As you are only one victim, the policy limit is $50K. can you get more money if you go to trial? Maybe. Might want to check and see what juries in your county are paying. Some counties the juries have a hard time even awarding the cost of medical expenses. There are two defendants involved. One is the driver and one is the car owner who let him use the car. Might also consider that there is a limit on liability for lending a car to a person who subsequently injures some one. Possibilities. Accept the offer from the carrier as to all parties and walk away. Accept the offer from the carrier as to the owner and proceed against the driver separately. (does this person have insurance? does this person have any available funds? Are you willing to chase the judgment for years? Are you willing to run the risk of a minimal judgment as outlined above? Have you and your attorney discussed the viability of a structured settlement?
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/17/2011
Richard E. Lewis, P.S.
Richard E. Lewis, P.S. | Richard Eugene Lewis
You can, but it usually does not make sense. The company will not pay you without your release of their insured. So you cannot take the money from them and then go after her. I am not sure why your lawyer can only get 50k, unless that represents fair compensation for your injuries. If that is the case there is no basis to go after her. Why not go after her insurer?
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 11/17/2011
The Law Offices of Paul A. Samakow, P.C.
The Law Offices of Paul A. Samakow, P.C. | Paul A. Samakow
You can go after the individual personally, but the likelihood of them having assets to seize is small. Best wishes, sorry to hear about your situation.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 11/17/2011
    Attorney Paul Lancia
    Attorney Paul Lancia | Paul Lancia
    The first step is to find a lawyer that you can work with.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Continue to consult with your retained lawyer and request him/her to seek additional compensation from the alleged negigent parties who caused or contributed to the accident and your resulting injuries.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 11/17/2011
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
    Yep, take a look at NY V&T section 388, or have your attorney do it, you'll like what you see. J Vicarious liability in NY for all owners of vehicles. Only question will be whether the insurance company can argue that she did not give permission and consent but, sounds like that isn't an issue. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/17/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    I don't know what "injuries for life" are in fact so I cant say anything about the value of your claim. That is your lawyers job. You cant have your cake and eat it too. You can take the settlement and end the matter, or you can sue the owner and driver of the car and hope to get more. You may. You may not. Again, it is your lawyers job to evaluate your case.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 11/17/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    Your insurance claim is based on the other driver's negligence. The insurance pays for whatever she is liable for, up to the policy limits. You cannot settle with the insurance company and sue her. If you sue her and win a judgment that is greater than the insurance coverage, insurance will only pay the policy limits. The other driver would be personally responsible for the rest. Often it is best to settle for the policy limits because it can be difficult, sometimes impossible, to collect a judgment from and individual. If the individual has no real estate, as a practical matter you cannot collect. We call them "judgment proof"..
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 11/17/2011
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    That's exactly what you are doing. Why you can "only get 50k on 100k policy" is another question.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/17/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    You are. Her policy limits don't change, unfortunately.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/17/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    If you are already being represented by a lawyer, you need to ask him the question. You won't be able to get any money from her insurance company without giving her a full & complete release which will bar any actions against her. If you spent 6 days in the hospital, your medical bills may exceed $50k, so you need to ask your lawyer why the insurance company is only offering $50k.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/17/2011
    David B. Sacks, P.A.
    David B. Sacks, P.A. | David Sacks
    Without knowing more, it would seem that you should be able to get the entire 100,000.00 so either the lawyer is lazy or afraid to file a lawsuit because some lawyers don't like going to court.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/17/2011
    Oliver Law Office
    Oliver Law Office | Jami Oliver
    I'm not sure it is clear why your lawyer can only get $50,000 on a $100,000 policy, unless the limits are 50 per person/100 per accident. Regardless, assuming that your lawyer has exhausted the liability policies available (both the driver's and the owner's insurance), you may have an uninsured/underinsured claim under your own auto insurance if your limits are greater than theirs. Yes, you can pursue a claim against the owner of a vehicle if he or she knowingly allowed an unlicensed driver to operate a vehicle; however, you need to be careful because you may have to prove that the owner should have known that the unlicensed driver was reckless or not able to drive safely, in addition to not being licensed. This is something your attorney should be able to discuss with you at length.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 11/17/2011
    Eftekhari Law Offices
    Eftekhari Law Offices | Ehsan Eftekhari
    Yes, under the negligent entrustment theory.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/17/2011
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan | Jason Chan
    You could sue her insurance company or the person driving the car. Someone needs to look at the facts, it doesn't mean that you will win.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/17/2011
    Broad Law Firm, LLC
    Broad Law Firm, LLC | Donald K. Broad
    In Indiana there is a concept known as "negligent entrustment," but I don't believe that a mere lack of a driver's license by itself is enough to prove one. It sounds as if you already have counsel. It is possible that the case is only worth $50.000. You have not provided enough facts to evaluate it.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    The owner will be just as responsible as the driver in most circumstances. Be careful the settlement you mention will likely require a global release of all claims.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    Did you have insurance? You may be able to get more insurance.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm | Reza Torkzadeh
    Why can your lawyer only get 50k on a 100k policy? With injuries that leave you in the hospital for 6 days and a non-licensed driver, I would not accept less than the policy limits. You also need to know if there are any other coverages, umbrellas etc. or whether the driver was running an errand or on the job which may discover any other potential insurance coverage.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You are going after her for negligence.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Law Office of Phillip M. Murphy, II
    Law Office of Phillip M. Murphy, II | Phillip Murphy
    If you want to sue the lady who let the guy borrow the car, your cause of action is something called negligent entrustment. You can sue her for that but you have to prove she knew or should've known he was a careless driver.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    Your attorney should be able to get more than $50,000. You should call for a free second opinion.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    You can sue someone who negligently entrusts their vehicle to someone who should not be driving. Since this person apparently did not have a driver's license there is probably a reason why their license was suspended. It would obviously be helpful if the person who loaned the car knew that the driver was unlicensed and why. I recently sued a woman for loaning her car to a drunk driver who ended up killing a pedestrian. Clearly in that situation, when she knew the driver was intoxicated, she was negligent in letting him drive her car. I don't know what you mean by your statement that the lawyer can only get 50K on her 100k policy. If you sue the owner of the car her insurance indemnifies her (pays on her behalf) up to the policy limit. The fact that the lawyer is telling you that you can only get 50k may mean that in his or her opinion that is all that your case is worth. That may be because the insurance company thinks you are partially responsible for the collision or for myriad other reasons. You should talk to your attorney so that you have a good understanding of your case. You cannot make a good decision without doing that.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Allen Legal Services PLLC
    Allen Legal Services PLLC | Eric Allen
    Yes. Negligent entrustment.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Paris Blank LLP
    Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
    Not if you settle with her insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. | Steven Fairlie
    You can definitely go after them both for negligence. I am not sure what you mean by " The lawyer can only get 50k on 100k policy on her insurance" but you should consult a good lawyer quickly.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Mishkind Law Firm, Co., L.P.A.
    Mishkind Law Firm, Co., L.P.A. | Howard Mishkind
    If you are represented but an attorney you should make sure that he has exhausted all available insurance coverage. I am not sure why you are only able to collect 50,000 unless the policy is a 50,000.00/100,000.00 which means you are limited to 50,000 per claimant. I assume you did not have underinsured coverage which might provide for additional coverage. Please note that if you accept the insurance coverage you will be required to release the responsible party and will be precluded from proceeding personally against her. The insurance company will not pay the policy limits if you want to proceed against her personally.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    In Michigan, a motorcyclist gets all of their No Fault benefits from the driver who was at fault including lost wages attendant care and medical bills. The pain and suffering damages is limited to the policy of insurance.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Kirshner & Groff
    Kirshner & Groff | Richard M. Kirshner
    If you don 't accept the settlement and she has collectible assets.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Holzer Edwards
    Holzer Edwards | Kurt Holzer
    There is a cause of action called negligent entrustment. It might be a valid claim that the owner negligently entrusted the vehicle to the unlicensed driver. However, whether there is additional insurance money would be determined by the language of the insurance policy between the owner and the company. If she has sufficient personal assets it might be worth pursuing a case against her directly. Such a case would be difficult but if the facts are aligned appropriately you might prevail.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 11/16/2011
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