You should consult with an attorney. There are claims that can be made against the owner of the vehicle but you would either need to investigate before filing a lawsuit or file the lawsuit and conduct discovery. Its not going to be easy but if the medical bills are that high, then it might be worth it.
This answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on as each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.
There are some instances when you can go after an owner such as negligent entrustment or if the driver is in the course and scope of his employment. However, each case is based on its own facts. Since the medical bills exceed $15,000, it would be wise to consult with a lawyer. There may be a fact that a lawyer picks up on during a conversation which you may not think is important or just the other way around. Meet with a lawyer.
Could be negligent entrustment, so retain a local personal injury lawyer to investigate.
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The only theory by which you could get more than the statutory limit of $15,000 for a permissive owner is "negligent entrustment." There must have been facts that the owner knew or should have known that made it unsafe to allow the driver to operate his/her vehicle. You may want to consult a personal injury attorney to make sure that all avenues of recovery have been explored before deciding whether or not to accept the policy limit.
Consult with and retain an attorney as soon as possible. Outside of the maximum limit for the owner's liability, which is statutory, there may or may not be facts to support a viable vicarious liability or negligent entrustment claim to go beyond the limit.
Nothing in this response is intended as a legal consultation or advice on your particular case, and is provided only as a general statement of information, and only with respect to California law. No attorney-client relationship is created and no contract for legal services is formed as a result of this posting or other postings before or after this posting. Various limitation periods, deadlines and cut-offs also may apply. You should therefore seek private consultation from an attorney regarding the merits of your case and the deadlines involved in your matter. Since this is a public forum, this posting is not confidential.
Because "theories of liability" are not straight forward, an experienced attorney is trained to recognize less obvious ways to recover money from a defendant who otherwise looks like a deadbeat. In regard to a motor vehicle accident, attorneys will investigate product liability, road conditions and the government's duty to maintain a safe driving environment, the other driver's reason for being behind the wheel (on the clock for work?), and other such facts. If a person has been injured by the fault of another driver, a free consultation with a personal injury is worth the time (Most of offer free consultations for personal injury matters).
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
Corona, CA 92879
www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com
"When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."
* This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.
** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206... Corona, CA 92879... (951)520-9684... www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com... "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW." ... * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy... ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.
The short answer is that you need an experienced personal injury attorney to review the details of your case and advise you further.
If your injuries and medical bills are substantial , you owe it to yourself to retain legal counsel. No settlement should occur until your lawyer conducts a due diligence on the assets of teh owner of the car and request for production regarding any other insurance coverage the owner may have , i.e. excess insurace covereage. Do not settle until you talk to attorney Kopelson listed in this answer. Take care.
This answer is provided by Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., El Abogado de Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492. El Abogado de Accidentes de Autos provides answers of a general context. These answers are not intended to form an attorney client relationship. El abogado de Accidentes de Autos y Lesiones Personales is licensed only in California. This information is good only in California and it is not to be taken as legal advice on car accidents, personal injury, divorce, bankruptcy or in any other type of situation. Esta respuesta es del Abogado de Accidentes de Autos y Lesiones Personales de Acidentes de carros, Manuel A. Juárez, 510-206-4492. Abogado Hispano de Accidentes, Divorcios, Abogado Latino de Accidentes, y Abogado de Acidentes de Oakland, Hayward, San Francisco, y California. Estas respuesta son solo para información general y no consisten en consejo legal sobre divorcios, mantención de esposas, mantención de hijos o bancarrotas. Las respuestas son comentarios legales que no forman una relación de abogado y cliente. Manuel Juarez, Esq., esta licenciado solo en el Estado de California.
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