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