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Ask richanne96 Your Own Question
richanne96, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 340
Experience:  Attorney in private practice in Phoenix, AZ
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Ok I have a friend who was in car accident three years ago.

Customer Question

Ok I have a friend who was in car accident three years ago. He rear ended a car and was at fault. Anyways the guy who was hit ended up suing for $50,000 in medical bills. My friend was covered under his dads insurance for both liability and collision. Anyways the insurance company went to bat as usual but they ended up sending a letter saying the policy was for $20,000 and that what ever would exceed that if the guy won they would not be liable for. My friend was 18 at the time. In this case who is responsible financially? My friend? or my friend's Dad since it was his policy?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  richanne96 replied 2 years ago.
Your friend is ultimately responsible because he caused the accident. Insurance merely guards against having to pay if you cause an accident, up to the limits of the policy. Having insurance does not bestow upon the father an obligation to pay for his son's accident above that limit. It sounds like your friend's dad had the minimum liability insurance allowed by law. If the lawsuit was filed seeking $50,000 total, probably only about a third is for actual medical bills, and probably very little of that was actually out-of-pocket. Often times, auto accidents settle for the policy limits of the insurance because that is all the money that can be easily collected.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can I send a picture of the actual document? Would that help?
Expert:  richanne96 replied 2 years ago.
What document? The letter from the insurance company stating the policy limits? That is not necessary. I am not confused by your question. The answer is that your friend is ultimately responsible. If the car belonged to your friend's dad, the plaintiff may try to come after him also on that basis, as the car owner.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
But what if my friend has no money. The car belongs to the dad.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  richanne96 replied 2 years ago.
If your friend has no money and the car belongs to his dad, the plaintiff will probably wind up going against both your friend and his father. The legal theory is called negligent entrustment.