Legal Question in Personal Injury in Missouri
My daughter was driving my car (she borrowed. It to apply for jobs she just got married thought she was doing good ) she had been taking drugs there was 2 witness's. That said she was all over the road and was arrested for duo and drugs she hit a car at a stop light which make her car hit the car in front of them no one turned it into their insurance company except. Me 1 1/2 year later the first car my daughter hit sues me my husband a d my daughter for the loss of her baby she was 11 weeks. She went to the hospital 3 days after accident and was bleeding was. She is now sueing for 100,000.00 witch is what I carry on my car insurance. And has a lawyer who is giving my insurance 2 weeks to settle our they will ask for more can she take my home for what goes over the 1000,000.00 in disabled should I get a lawyer i live in mussouri
3 Answers from Attorneys
the fact that it took 1 1/2 years later to file suit means the other person was talking to your insurance company all along the way, nothing unusual there. Unless you had reason to know your daughter would drink/ drug and drive, there is little chance that you have personal exposure. Your daughter is a different question. If you want to protect your assets, contact an attorney IMMEDIATELY and ask them to write a hammer letter, demanding that the insurance company settle the case within policy limits rather than expose your assets and you personally. If you send the letter properly and the insurance company decides not to pay- effectively gambling with your life- they will be on the hook for any excess judgment instead of you, and you can sue them for your losses in worrying about it and fighting it if it comes to that. As a practical matter though, there is very little chance that you personally will ever get saddled with any debt. Your daughter could be garnished for a judgment against her, and would not be able to discharge that debt in bankruptcy if she was doing drugs. She is the one who really needs to hire a lawyer to write the letter I discussed above.
If you are being sued for more than the policy limits you will have to hire your own independent attorney, however demand that your insurance company settle for the policy limits.
You absolutely need a lawyer, and you should get one IMMEDIATELY. The attorney needs to immediately send out a hammer letter to the insurance company demanding that they settle within the policy limits so as to protect all your assets.
While my friend Spencer is a very good lawyer, I disagree with his opinion saying that he doesn't think you have much personal exposure here. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it seems to me that based upon what you said, your daughter seems to have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, which to many jurors minds makes it risky to loan her a vehicle. In any event, you can protect yourself by immediately getting a lawyer experienced in insurance issues. It should probably only cost a few hundred dollars, but could protect your entire life savings, avoid the need to go to bankruptcy etc. But time is the crucial element, so don't wait.
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