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Thread: Car Accident Civil Suit

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    Car Accident Civil Suit

    A couple of months ago my mother hit a pedestrian, she was barely moving. We are now getting notified about a civil suit, can this person go for a civil suit instead of go after the insurance company? They have an umbrella coverage to avoid people going after any assets like this situation. Obviously because of the holiday weekend, can’t get in touch with a lawyer, curious to if anyone has any experience with this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vodka Drunkenski View Post
    A couple of months ago my mother hit a pedestrian, she was barely moving. We are now getting notified about a civil suit, can this person go for a civil suit instead of go after the insurance company? They have an umbrella coverage to avoid people going after any assets like this situation. Obviously because of the holiday weekend, can’t get in touch with a lawyer, curious to if anyone has any experience with this.
    I can resolve this issue. Easily.
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    Yea, I know you can lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vodka Drunkenski View Post
    Yea, I know you can lol
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    I rear-ended someone and they sued me. My insurance company handled the entire suit.
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    I actually work in this area of law in NY/NJ. If the accident happened in NY, they can't sue for the first $50k in necessary medical treatment or wage loss. That's referred to as basic economic loss/first-party benefits in no-fault coverage, and everywhere else in the country we know it as "PIP coverage." So in NY, their own insurance should cover the first $50k, or if they're uninsured or excluded from their policy, your insurance will cover it. The whole point of "no-fault" is that it applies without fault; if you have an injury arising from the use or operation of a motor vehicle, you're entitled to that first $50k.

    Beyond that, they're theoretically unable to sustain a civil suit, unless their damages provably exceed $50k or they have a "serious injury" (defined in Insurance Law 5102), in which case they can sue for "non-economic damages" (i.e., pain and suffering).

    Typically, this is never how it works out. They'll sue anyway. They'll do basic discovery, someone will file a motion for summary judgment, and they'll settle before trial. But the point is: the insurance company is on the hook for it, no matter what. They're on the hook for it for both the no-fault coverage (even though it'll be covered by the pedestrian's own policy if they're insured, their insurance can "subrogate" the claim and sue to get it back from your insurance...you won't be a part of this), and any amounts beyond the no-fault coverage (general auto liability) as well. Only if the person's damages exceed the auto liability policy coverage, or an exclusion applies (like if you were driving drunk), will you be on the hook for any of it.

    If the accident happened outside NY the process is different, but this is the long and short of it. Your mom should immediately contact her insurance company and send it to them, and they'll take it from there.

    If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask. Just note that this is not legal advice, just two friends having a discussion about NY no-fault/auto law.
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    So my parents received a copy of the civil reservation they signed and being old school, thought they had a civil lawsuit against them
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