My mother hit a woman crossing the highway in front of her house. The lady's family came out and threatened my mother. The lady was crossing in 6 o'clock traffic, about 100 yards from a crosswalk, across 5 lanes of traffic. The woman was found to be under the influance of alcohol. She was injured pretty bad, has had surgery and is still hospitalized. My mother has been having nightmares and is scared to death, she somehow feels responsible. Can she be sued? Her home is the only thing of value she has. Would she be able to declare bankruptcy if she were sued?
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
Yes, she can be sued. She should report this to here insurance carrier right away.
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
I respectfully concur with the prior answer you were given- yes, she can be sued. If the car she was driving was insured, she should report the accident to her insurance company as soon as possible. The insurance company will hire attorneys to protect your mother's interests as far as the limits of her insurance policy are concerned. The attorneys will undoubtedly give her advice on who to talk to, if anyone, and how to handle the situation with the authorities. At this point in time, declaring bankruptcy will probably not help your mother. The bankruptcy court will likely not prevent a suit against your mother at least as far as the limits of the policy are concerned. If she is sued for an amount that exceeds the limits of her insurance policy, then your mother is entitled to(and I would ecourage her to) hire her own attorney to help protect whatever personal assets she has. Her personal attorney can also try to exert pressure upon the attorneys for the insurance carrier to settle the case within the limits of the policy so that your mother's assets are not placed at risk.
Your mother should immediately report this incident to her automobile liability insurance carrier if she has not already done so. Her carrier has an obligation to investigate the circumstances of the accident and defend your mother and indemnify your mother should a claim be brought against her. That is why you pay an automobile insurance premium.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to insure proper advice is received.