I am so very sorry about your father. Regrettably, this is not an uncommon issue in wrongful death cases.
What generally needs to be done is someone needs to determine if there is any other applicable insurance. This can be tricky. Was the adverse driver working? Was the driver on a family errand? Is there underinsured coverage in the household that might apply?
While you would also typically evaluate the adverse driver's assets, you described the driver as a "boy," so it is unlikely he has any meaningful assets that you could recover (and the $25,000 policy limit tends to further confirm this). But you never know.
Also, you need to find out if drugs or alcohol were involved. You need to evaluate the roadway and other conditions to determine whether there is a viable claim against any other entity or person.
It's entirely possible that $25,000 is the limit of what you are able to recover, but a good attorney will do a thorough investigation before reaching that conclusion. Good luck.
Mr. Trachtenberg has provided an excellent and thorough response. As mentioned, you or your attorney should carefully investigate all potential insurance coverages, particularly your dad's or another applicable family member's underinsured motorist coverage. If you have such coverage, it will provide coverage up to the limits of underinsured motorist coverage on top of the other driver's policy limits. You should also investigate the other driver's personal assets, although it seems unlikely he will have substantial assets based on your description.
This response is for information purpose only and does not constitute a legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship.
I am very sorry for your loss and the trauma you and your family must be going through. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to explore your options. You mention that the other driver is a "boy," perhaps he is also covered under his parent's insurance. There may be a way to recoup for your financial loss. Get a lawyer to see what can be done. Good luck.
I have been licensed to practice in the State of Oregon since 1990. I am not offering legal advice regarding your question, only general information regarding the law. You are not my client nor am I your attorney unless we sign a retainer agreement.
There may be additional insurance. Many people overlook other policies. Also, don't try to settle this yourself, or you could sabotage the claim. Find a lawyer with a low contingency fee, less than 30%, so you are left with the lion's share of the settlement. If you need me to run a search on this, I can. Good luck to you.
The answer does not create an attorney/client relationship and is for informational purposes only.
Lassen Law Firm
1515 Market St #1510
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Licensed in PA & NJ. 29% Contingency Fee. Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
Insurance coverage can be a major problem. You have received an excellent summary from attorney Trachtenberg on both the reality but also the need to retain an experienced aggressive attorney to do a full thorough search for any other potential coverage and assets.
As awful as the situation is, there are still states where motor vehicle insurance is not mandatory, including one of my states. So, again as awful as it is, I have had clients actually face such situations where there is no coverage.
I am sorry you lost your father. When faced with a situation of inadequate insurance I suggest the following: Have a local lawyer determine whether the driver had separate insurance from the owner of the vehicle and determine whether the driver was in the course and scope of any employment at the time of the accident. Also explore whether your father had any underinsured motorist insurance on his motorcycle or any automobiles he owned. Good Luck
Do not just assume that there is a single policy of $25,000. As others have pointed out, a thorough investigation should be performed to determine any other applicable insurance and whether there are any other avenues of recovery--was the boy's vehicle defective and contributed to the accident, was the roadway defective. Have a good trial lawyer check this out. I am very sorry for your loss and I am hopeful that other avenues can be pursued to help with the huge financial loss.
This voluntary informative response does not create an attorney-client relationship and does not obligate me or my firm to investigate any issue raised.
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