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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
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My son, while driving out of town in his mothers car, rear-ended

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My son, while driving out of town in his mothers car, rear-ended another vehicle, which then struck another vehicle, my sons car then struck a fourth vehicle. two people were injured, one very seriously (he is still in the hospital, and unconscious), the other was discharged the same evening. Nobody else was hurt. Apparently the severe injury may be life threatening. Meanwhile, our Insurance carrier and their insurance carrier(s) is deciding claims, etc., The CHP has already stated that our son was the driver at fault, as has the insurance company. The reason was the old rather vague "unsafe speed for conditions", and a momentary distraction (I know, not uncommon at all). We are desperately worried about what may happen to him. Even if they sue us they won't get much, a pitiful few thousand in stocks, we're underwater on our mortgage. and whats left after wall street got done with pension and 401K is less than 200K, but what can they do to him and us?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 6 years ago.

Hello there:


there is nothing in your description that indicates that there may be any criminal liability involved. Everyone has a duty to maintain control of their vehicle, but when someone's failure to do so results in another person's injury, it is deemed negligent--not criminal. Thus, there is no jail time involved.


However, the injured parties can recover for the injuries caused by the negligence. Recovery may be awarded from the driver, the vehicle owner, or both. This is accomplished through a lawsuit.


The first line of defense is your auto-insurance. To the extent that your insurance will not cover the cost of injuries, the responsibility falls on the driver and the owner. The injuried parties can recover against some of your assets, but not all of them (such as pensions and 401[k]s). I oftentimes tell clients that they can't get blood from a turnip.


If the owner and/or driver could not afford to pay a civil judgment, they could discharge the judgment in bankruptcy.


Let me know if I may be of further assistance. Thank you.

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