Whose insurance company should pay for the medical bills ofan injured driver?

UPDATED: Jun 15, 2011

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Whose insurance company should pay for the medical bills ofan injured driver?

I was hit by a car and pushed into another car. The occupant in the car in front of me suffered injuries, but he has no insurance.

Asked on June 15, 2011 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

When someone is injured by another, the person(s) who injured him, if they were at fault--that is, if they were negligent (unreasonably careless) or intentionally hurt him--would  be liable to pay for his injuries, including for his medical care. (Without fault, there's generally no liability.) However, to get them to pay, the injured person has to sue--or if they have liability insurance, submit a claim to their insurer (though if the insurer(s) don't pay voluntarily at that point, he'll still have to sue, to try to establish his entitlement to compensation).

If he'd had his own insurance (e.g no fault), it would pay regardless of fault. But other driver's insurance pays only if fault is established. So in this case, the question will be, which of the drivers is at fault? That's the one who--or whose insurance, if he or she has insurance--will pay. Note that it's possible that both drivers at fault--the other driver for pushing your car; you for following too close, for example--in which case you potentially are both liable.

The injured driver will need to submit a claim and/or file a lawsuilt; compensation will not happen by itself. If he claims against or sues one of you, you and your insurer can determine whether you believe there's fault and you--or your insurer--need to pay.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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