My Child Was Injured in Another Person’s Car. Who Do I Sue?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traffic collisions are a leading cause of unintentional death among children. In 2017, 675 children were killed in traffic collisions, and more than 116,000 were seriously injured. Many of these injuries lead to permanent, life-long debilitations. The parents of injured minors can sue on their behalf for the following damages:
- Medical expenses;
- Future predicted medical costs;
- Other long term costs, such as medical devices or home modifications for disabled children;
- Predicted loss in earning ability;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of joy of life;
- Emotional distress; and
When your child is injured as an occupant in another person’s vehicle, it may be difficult for you to understand what happened. As such, you need to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that you get to the bottom of it. Common causes of traffic collisions, and injuries, include:
- Distracted driving;
- Aggressive driving;
- Drowsy driving; and
- Drunk driving.
Furthermore, the driver who was carpooling your child, or otherwise transporting your child, was responsible for ensuring that he or she was wearing a seatbelt or using a booster seat or car seat. According to the CDC, using a size-appropriate booster or car seat reduces serious injuries by 80 percent.
Suing the At-Fault Driver, or Both Drivers Involved
The first party to seek compensation from is the at-fault driver’s insurance company. It does not matter if this party happens to be the driver of the car in which your child was an occupant, or another party who is unknown to you. Because of California’s comparative fault statute, more than one party can be held liable for causing a traffic collision. As such, you may end up being able to sue more than one party. For example, if the driver who was car-pooling your child was texting while driving, they may be held 40 percent liable for causing the collision if the other party involved in the crash happened to be speeding and driving drunk (in this scenario they are held 60 percent liable). You would first pursue compensation from the drunk driver, and then if the damages experienced by your child exceed that party’s insurance policy, you would sue the driver who was operating the car pool.
Your Own Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage Applies
If your child is a minor and not a licensed driver, they are automatically covered under your own driver’s insurance policy. As such, you can file a claim with your own insurance company for compensation if the at-fault party(s) does not have adequate coverage to cover the full damages caused to your child.
Our San Jose Accident Attorneys Can Help
If your child was injured in a traffic collision when they were an occupant of someone else’s vehicle, we understand your outrage and frustration. Regardless of who is at fault, our San Jose personal injury attorney can help you reach a successful settlement or lawsuit verdict. Call the Solution Now Law Firm today at 408-256-2871 to schedule a free case evaluation.