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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    7

    Angry Traffic Collision with Serious Injuries by Driver with Minimum Coverage

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: CA

    Hi, a family member was hit as a pedestrian by a motorcycle half a year ago that caused her to lose her leg, and nearly her life.

    We retained a well-qualified lawyer who did some investigation for us and found that the guy was still in college and only had the minimum $15k insurance coverage and no other signaficant assets. They also looked to see if the city traffic lights were functioning properly, whether or not he was working at the time or if he had any insurance under his parents but nothing good came out of it. There was suspicion that he was weaving and speeding through traffic and ran a red light before hitting her, but the cops were unable to find any solid evidence to say definitely.

    Lawyer says that at this point, there is really nothing that can be done but to take the money. For example, there is no use in suing to garnish his wages due to the additional cost/time for litigation and he can just file for bankruptcy to wipe out his debts.

    I just wanted to post here and in other places to see if there was anything that we can do before we sign the settlement papers. I just find it hard to believe that basically there was no punishment/penalty to the driver for such a horrific accident with such great injury caused. I think the cops said that he has been in other accidents before. Can his license be taken away so that he won't harm others? Is it ever worth it to sue him and if he files for bankruptcy then let it be?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,121

    Default Re: Traffic Collision with Serious Injuries by Driver with Min Coverage. Any Recourse

    Read this article.

    Has the family member checked her "Underinsured Motorists Coverage" to see if it applies even though she was a pedestrian at the time?

    Anyway, there are some advantages to suing and getting a judgment, even if it's just for revenge.

    A judgment can be recorded and will be a lien on any real estate he purchases for the life of the judgment which could last 10-20 years and really mess him up financially, even if your family member doesn't see any money.

    Yes, he can file bankruptcy but bankruptcy carries its own consequences. It stays on the credit report for 10 years and makes it difficult to get jobs, credit, and insurance.

    A college student will eventually become an adult who may want to get married and start a career and that's when he's negligence will come back to haunt him.

    Again, tragically, no money for your family member but giving rider a chunk of financial pain for many years to come might be some consolation.

    Or not.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    544

    Default Re: Traffic Collision with Serious Injuries by Driver with Min Coverage. Any Recourse

    You didn't say what your relationship is to the person involved in the accident, but there's no "we" here unless the person involved is your child or you are her legal guardian.

    That said, if the motorcyclist was cited for violating any law, then he may be at risk of losing his license. This would not be something that your relative would be privy to.

    On the civil side, as the attorney mentioned, your relative can sue for damages in excess of insurance coverage. If the motorcyclist has no significant income or assets, then it may be pointless to do so. On the other hand, his situation may change in the future. Could he discharge any judgment in bankruptcy. Yes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Traffic Collision with Serious Injuries by Driver with Min Coverage. Any Recourse

    Thanks for the advice.

    Is there a way to find out what laws the driver was cited for? Would I have to contact the original investigative detective?

    What is the normal cost vs. benefit of having the attorney (who's currently on contingency) sue to get a judgement? The attorney is discouraging suing to the the cost and time involved.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    3,543

    Default Re: Traffic Collision with Serious Injuries by Driver with Min Coverage. Any Recourse

    Quote Quoting nolimits
    View Post
    Thanks for the advice.

    Is there a way to find out what laws the driver was cited for? Would I have to contact the original investigative detective?

    What is the normal cost vs. benefit of having the attorney (who's currently on contingency) sue to get a judgement? The attorney is discouraging suing to the the cost and time involved.
    1. To find out if the rider was issued any moving violations, you would refer to the police report. 2. Your lawyer that is on a contingency basis right now will make you sign an hourly contract if you want to sue the collage kid. 3. He knows that you will have to pay out of pocket to the tune of thousands of dollars and he may just recover nothing.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.......

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