UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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My daughter was in a car accident, she rear-ended another vehicle. She slammed on the brakes because the driver of the car in front slammed on their brakes. Unfortunately,she sustained the most damage to her car totaled. Thankfully both drivers were released from the hospital. My daughter has a fractured sternum and now experiences panic shakes when she awakens. More than likely she will be at fault. However what type of compensation will she be able to receive for medical bills, car, work, etc.? She has full coverage insurance and never has had a ticket or accident. She is 22 and just graduated college.

Asked on December 15, 2018 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If she was at fault--and if she rear ended another, she was at fault; the law presumes that the driver who rear ended another is at fault because she had an obligation to maintain such safe following distance and speed that if the driver ahead stopped suddenly, she could still stop in time--then all she can get from insurance is the cost to repair her car (or its value if it is totalled) from her comprehensive coverage (assuming she had such); and whatever coverage for medical bills her health/medical insurance provides. Her own liability insurance will not help her--it pays to other people injured or whose cars are damaged by her when she is at fault. And the other driver's liability coverage would only pay out if the other driver were at fault in injuring your daughter.

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