automobile accident insurance responsibility

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automobile accident insurance responsibility

If a 19 yr old, while driving his vehicle, was in an accident and his 21 yr old passenger was injured with a broken wrist; and he decides to sue the insurance company. Who would be responsible if the amount requested exceeds what the insurance would cover, the driver or his parents who carry the insurance? No other vehicles were involved.

Asked on June 24, 2009 under Accident Law, Montana

Answers:

L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You haven't said whether the 21-year old  passenger is making a claim on the 19-year old's policy or the policy of the other driver involved in the accident.  Assuming it is the former, and the 19 year old was at fault, the passenger need not "sue" the insurance company.  He need only file a claim for benefits under the Medical Payments coverage (if the 19-year old carries that coverage) for medical bills up to the limits of the policy.  Beyond that amount, if the 19-year old was at fault for the accident, the passenger can make a claim under the liability coverage on the policy, which should cover all other expenses up to the policy limits.  If the vehicle was owned by the 19-year old, he is an adult and he and his insurance are responsible, not his parents.  If the parents own the car, both the driver and the parents are responsible.  If the liability insurance is still not sufficient, the passenger can sue the driver (and the parents if it is their car) for the excess.  Hope that helps.


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