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My son was hit by a car while riding his bike.

Libby, MT |

He was biking on the R hand side of the main hwy through town (speed limit 25 mph) and was going to turn left onto a cross street. He looked back and didn't see any cars, then moved over to the middle lane like Montana Code says to do. The lady hit him from behind. He was okay minus bruises and a concussion.

The officer told me that it was my sons fault for jaywalking, that I have to pay for the damage to her car and that I was not leaving the scene with my son until he apologized to the lady for damaging her car. So, out of fear of being arrested, he apologized.

The lady told me not to put it on my ins b/c they would trash the car. Now she is threatening to sue if I don't pay her $1300 cash b/c he admitted he was wrong.

What do I do?

Attorney Answers 2


If you have homeowners or renters insurance, you should report this incident to your insurance carrier and ask them to handle this matter for you. If you are not insured, I suggest that you contact a civil defense attorney in your area and find out what, if any, responsibility you may have for your child's negligence, if any. You may not be liable for any damages caused by your son, depending on your state's statutes and case law.

A concussion is no laughing matter. Your son should obtain needed medical care and treatment.You should consult with a personal injury attorney in your area regarding your son's injuries .

Legal Disclaimer:

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.

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If your son has been injured due to someone else's negligence, you may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. If the injury is not serious you may want to pursue other options.

Prepare For Success

Gather all pertinent documents and any evidence at your disposal. Much of the record keeping should be done from the moment of the accident, before you even meet with your personal injury lawyer. Write down everything you remember about what happened, before, during and right after the accident. Videotapes, photographs and witness names and testimony will help a great deal. Then contact a personal injury lawyer. Your personal injury lawyer will take your case through civil court proceedings and will try and contact the other party to reach a settlement. Filing an official lawsuit may not be necessary.

Act Timely and Be Realistic

After suffering a injury you only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations varies by state. Illinois' is two years. If you miss the statutory deadline for filing a case, your case is thrown out of court. You may read about people being awarded millions of dollars after suffering minor injuries but serious "emotional distress" but these cases are rare. Be realistic about the damages on which you may collect reimbursement.

Work With Your Attorney

Your personal injury attorney will listen to your account of what happened, review your case carefully, and determine whether or not you have grounds to sue. If you decide to go ahead with a lawsuit, your personal injury attorney should handle all the legal proceedings and keep you informed every step of the way. Of course, you can file a lawsuit by yourself, but having a personal injury attorney is highly advisable, because trying to navigate the legal system without any expertise is very difficult. Personal injury lawyers draw almost entirely from court decisions and theories published in the legal community. Your attorney will explain the laws that apply and that will govern your case. Make sure you ask questions and understand the answers your lawyer advises you about.

Do you need an attorney to assist?

Yes. Generally the insurance company is not on your side. The insurer is responsible for satisfying their shareholders, not you or your family. They do not have your best interests in mind. If you have questions about the language in your policy, do not understand terms or language in your policy, have trouble getting a response from the insurance agent, have not received your check from your insurance company, or have any concerns about how your claim is handled, your own attorney will be able to provide you with valuable assistance.

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