Can we still sue the driver of the car who killed my daughter after 5 months? 42 Answers as of July 17, 2013

My daughter was backed over and killed in our driveway at our home. We filed a claim with the insurance and it is worth 25,000 and we accepted now it has been 5 months since my daughter’s death. Can we still sue the driver of car also? She has caused nothing but hell.

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Wild Sky Law Group, PLLC
Wild Sky Law Group, PLLC | Roxanne Eberle
If you accepted a settlement, you likely signed a release of all claims for the driver from their insurance company. You probably had uninsured motorist coverage on your car too that you may be able to use to recover additional damages, but it will depend on whether you gave them proper notice of the pending settlement with the at-fault driver, etc. You should have a consultation with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 10/3/2012
Miller & Harrison, LLC
Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
If you settled with the drivers insurer then you likely signed a release that settled the case completely and you cannot sue the driver. Look closely at the release you signed.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 10/1/2012
James M. Osak, P.C.
James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
What does your attorney say? You already settled, you cannot sue driver now. Did you have attorney? $25,000 is nothing. You should have sued for 1 million with your attorney. Now it's too late?
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/1/2012
Hirsch, Closson, McMillan & Schroeder, APLC
Hirsch, Closson, McMillan & Schroeder, APLC | Paul Schroeder
You can only sue if you did not sign a release releasing the driver in exchange for the $25,000.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/28/2012
Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry
Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry | Ronald Arthur Lowry
It depends on the way the settlement papers were drawn up. I cannot tell from what you said if you still can sue the driver or not. If you contact me directly I will look at them free of charge and tell you then.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 7/17/2013
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    It depends on how the settlement papers are drawn up. If you accept the settlement in return for a general release of liability, you have settled the case with the driver and would not be able to sue the driver. If you accept the settlement in return for a release of liability as to only the insurer, then you could accept the settlement and sue the driver. It is highly unlikely the insurance company will settle the claim for anything less than a full general release because they have a duty to defend the driver. If you want to sue the driver personally, you will probably have to reject the $25,000.00 settlement offer and file suit.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Law Offices of Steven D. Urban
    Law Offices of Steven D. Urban | Steven D. Urban
    As long as you have not given the driver a release, you are still free to bring suit against the driver.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    I am so sorry for your loss. The Statute of Limitations for such situations is usually three years. If you "accepted" the insurance company's offer by signing a "Release and Hold Harmless" agreement, you probably terminated any possible future exploration of legal actions.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Brown & Brown | Lee Brown
    If you settled with the driver's insurance company, you would have had to sign a release. If you signed a release with the driver's insurer in exchange for the $25,000, you cannot now sue the driver. Otherwise, you can still sue the driver.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
    It depends upon the language of your settlement. If it was with the person who killed your daughter, you probably have released all claims against that person.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Ricks & Associates | Kenneth R. Ricks
    If you settled with the driver's insurance company that likely means you released all claims against their insured (the driver) and thus you cannot file suit against the driver.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    If you signed a release when you accepted the $25,000 you cannot go back and sue that company for more. If you are seeking a recovery from the other insurance company, you may be able to do so. It depends on what you agreed to when you accepted the first $25,000. I would be happy to speak with you about this in more detail because it is impossible to answer in the form of the question as it is now posed.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Whose insurance did you settle with. Yes, you should have claim but if you settled with the driver's insurance you settled with her as well.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/17/2013
    Graves Law Firm
    Graves Law Firm | Steve Graves
    If you accepted the limits of the driver's insurance coverage and signed a release, you won't be able to sue her now. If you had a car insurance policy of your own with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you might be able to recover additional money from that. There's no pain like losing a child. I'm sorry for your loss.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Yes you may. Indiana has a two year statute of limitation for bringing personal injury actions.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    When you accepted the $25000 you most likely signed a full release of the driver and owner of the car. so the answer to your question is no. you should not have settled unless you were absolutely satisfied that there was no more coverage and no other assets. Unfortunately wrongful death cases for children do not usually result in large verdicts. Death cases are based largely on economic loss and children don't have jobs or assets.I understsand your feelings of loss and they are beyond measure. There is no way to recompense for those. Pray Isaiah 26:3 if you are a believer
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray | Ronald D. Reemsnyder
    Yes. Usually, the statute of limitations in Ga is 2 years.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
    Depends. If you signed a release in favor of the driver, you may not be able to. Otherwise, you absolutely can. Go see an attorney right away. Keep in mind that if the driver doesn't have substantial assets, you can't get blood from a stone and may be limited to insurance coverage. A very harsh reality in our business.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    Who paid the money? If it was the company for the car owner or the driver, you probably signed a release. If so, then you waived the right to sue.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    You accepted only $25k? Seems way too low. First you need to read the release that you probably had to sign and see if it includes the driver.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    It is not the length of time that matters here, it is the fact that you accepted the insurance money. When you signed for it, you satisfied any right to liability.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Bozich & Korn | Joseph A. Korn
    It is hard to tell from your question, but if the insurance company you received the money from was the drivers insurance, you probably cannot sue the driver separately, although there may be some circumstances where that could occur. If you settled the case, the insurance company probably had you sign a release and you should review that to see who it applies to and what it applies to, before taking any further action.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    The statute of limitations in Florida for wrongful death is two years. If the driver only had $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance, have you checked to see if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance on your own cars?
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Blaske & Blaske, P.L.C.
    Blaske & Blaske, P.L.C. | John F. Turck IV
    It depends on the language of the release, but if the insurance company was the striking driver's insurer, then the answer is probably no.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Slotnick & Schwartz
    Slotnick & Schwartz | Leonard T. Schwartz
    If the money came from your insurance company and you I'd not release no one else you can sue the driver.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    I cannot even imagine what you have gone through. You need to speak to an attorney to explain with whom you have dealt, what release you signed and which insurance company paid the $25,000. If it was the driver?s insurance company, your are probably not able to sue because the insurance company would have required you to sign a release waiving all claims against the driver. In situations where the amount of insurance is not sufficient to compensate for all of the loss, you can sue the driver for all damages. The insurance company has the obligation to defend the insured, but is only liable to pay the policy limits. They try to get the case settled on behalf of their insured for the policy limits. A lawsuit by you is not governed by the policy limits of insurance. But if you settle, then you are limiting the amount of your potential recovery. I strongly suggest you get a free consultation with an attorney right away to see if there is some way to bring an action against the driver. Hopefully you did not waive your rights already.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Law Offices of David M. Blain
    Law Offices of David M. Blain | David Blain
    First, let me say that I am truly sorry for your loss and I can't imagine the impact that this type of tragedy would cause. I have two sons of my own (one is two and the other six months) and can't imagine what my life would be like if I lost one of them. As to your question, it is difficult for me to respond because I don't have all the facts. The insurance company may have settled the case on behalf of the driver and whether you can pursue the driver will depend on what you signed with the insurance company. Often times the release that you signed will include a release against the driver for any and all claims arising from the underlying accident. If you would like I can review any paperwork you have and help you determine whether you'll be able to pursue a claim against the driver.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Timiney Law Firm
    Timiney Law Firm | Leigh Anne Timiney
    I am sure there is no amount of money which could compensate you for this. When you say you filed a claim with insurance and accepted $25,000, I am not clear if you mean you filed a claim with the auto insurance for the driver who hit your daughter. I am assuming this is what you did and I am assuming you were given $25,000 because this is the "policy limit" of the auto insurance the driver carried. Policy limit means the largest amount the auto insurance policy will pay for any one accident or incident involving that vehicle. If this is what happened, it is likely you signed a release/waiver at the time you accepted the $25,000. By signing the release/waiver, you have released the auto insurance company and the driver of the vehicle from any future liability to you in regard to this. any for an incident involving a vehicle, and you sign a release/waiver, that is the end of your claim and you cannot then come back at a later time and attempt to obtain more money from the insurance company or driver. Since there are many variables involved in your incident and I am having to assume facts about your question in giving my answer, I would strongly suggest you contact an attorney in your area who specializes in personal injury and seek a consultation. He or she will be able to hear all of the facts or your case, review all of your documents and give you a fully informed opinion regarding what your options may be at this point, including the possibility that there may be other insurance policies available for you to make claims with.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    Yes but you need to set up an estate to do so.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You will have to call a civil lawyer in your city and show them the papers you signed and see who was released by the settlement that you received. If the driver was negligent and not a part of the insurance settlement you can sue them and their insurance company will defend them. The lawsuit must be flied as soon as possible. You have 90 days to sue a municipality but longer for individuals. I do not have enough details to advise you as to liability, but usually the driver is liable for hitting a child in a driveway as they are supposed to look for such things.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Normally the answer is no. If you settle with the insurance company, you normally sign away your rights to sue.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    I'm not sure why you accepted such a small settlement unless that was the full insurance coverage. If you signed a valid release the case is over. You can't sue the driver if your settlement came from his insurance. He would be named in the release.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Go see a personal injury attorney. If you have accepted a settlement and signed a release, you may not be able to sue anyone now.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Doug Rothschild Injury Lawyers
    Doug Rothschild Injury Lawyers | Doug Rothschild
    Such a tragic loss. If you settled with the driver's insurance company, you may have also "released" the driver from further liability. You should contact a lawyer to discuss. He/she should not charge you for a consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    You can't sue if you signed a general release naming the driver. Did you settle with your carrier or the driver's carrier. I handle these cases if you want to discuss the case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    Why did you settle for such a low amount, I can only speculate that was the policy limits. The term that you used "worth" is very disturbing to me as an attorney I would hope that it was just a slip of the tongue on your part. I hope that your settlement with the insurance company did not include a clause that you would waive any further action against their insured, that would create a problem. Why did you not retain an attorney in this matter that is something else that makes little sense. Anyway if you did not waive further action yes you can bring an action against the driver personally, but you will need a lawyer and you may have a problem retaining one since the insurance company is out, and you may have made statements during that negotiation that could damage this action. The majority of people who attempt to handle these matters on their own hurt their cases by talking to adjusters, since they believe that by trying to explain things can only help, when in fact it is most likely damaging their case.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Paris Blank LLP
    Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
    You probably released the driver when you accepted the $25,000.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/12/2013
    Law Office of Alan H. Segal
    Law Office of Alan H. Segal | Alan H. Segal
    I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. You can only sue the driver if you have not signed a release of the driver. Have you made a claim on your own auto policy also? Let me know if you want to discuss this further.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Koning & Jilek, P.C.
    Koning & Jilek, P.C. | Jonathan Neal Jilek
    It depends. You should call a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/12/2013
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    You could unless the release you signed stated that you settled your claim with the insurance company and the driver. If you released the driver your claim is dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 9/28/2012
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