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Sueing for negligence other driver admitted 100% fault

by Tina
(Thousand Oaks, CA, USA)

My husband and I were rear-ended by a teenager in March 2011 in Southern California.

We were stopped at a red light when she slammed into us.

It was also dark and rainy and rush hour. Both our cars totaled.

We both drove small-medium size SUV's. Other driver admitted 100% fault to her insurance company.

Technically her dad is the insured but the daughter caused the accident. All of us are insured. We were going to add collision coverage to our policy in a month or so when we could afford it. Fortunately since we are zero at fault it does not apply to this accident. Police report filed and should be ready to pick up our copy next week. Receiving our compensation for our car being totaled in a week or two.

It is a fair offer so we will be accepting the car property damage offer next week, so done with that part of the process.

The other company is paying for our car rental for another week or two(she hit our one and only car) so we need to find another car quickly. Hospital sent bill to our medical insurance company. Husband was taken to ER via ambulance. Our medical insurance said they will likely pay it and then go after the other party's insurance for reimburesment.

Hospital bill is around $5k. So pretty much a done deal there too.

Need help regarding PI and Negligence:

My husband will not require further medical treatment for his neck injury. I did not require medical treatment, ambulance or hospital.

We know what his lost wages are and our out of pocket expenses so far. He is back at work. We don't know if we can or should file a personal lawsuit against the insured. We have no idea yet what their auto insurance company (Liberty Mutual) will offer us for bodily injury / pain and suffering settlement. If not included in the offer, is it worth pursuing a lawsuit for severe negligence.

Emotional distress, trauma and other non-physical injury? Is that included in the offer or separate? As married, would we file separately or joint?

Against her insurance or her? Since we haven't seen the police report yet, we don't know if she caused the accident due to under the influence of something, texting or other distraction, just that she admitted 100% fault.

We feel strongly about addressing the "severe negilence" of the at- fault driver. We don't know what is a fair offer or is that is lumped into the whole PI offer or if we need to file a separate suit. We have also spent long hours every day researching cars that would be in our budget.

Any advice?
Thanks from So-Cal


Hello Tina,

Thank you for your question and I am sorry this happened to you. There is no cause of action for "severe negligence." Negligence is negligence. The amount of damages do not change because of the accident or how the accident occurred.

You could have a drunk driver total your car, but yet, walk without injuries. The fact that the driver was drunk and totaled your car will likely be inadmissible evidence to show any injury and/or pain and suffering. If liability and/or fault is not a dispute, then the amount of damages is the only relevant issue. At that point, only medical bills and records would be of relevance.

Both of you have to bring a lawsuit. You need to talk to a local lawyer as to the value of your claim. Different jurisdictions do different things. This may be worth a good settlement, if the proper facts are present.

To contact a local lawyers, please fill the form below (free claim evaluation).

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Good Luck,
Auto Insurance Claim Advice

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