Whose insurance should pay when a passenger is injured in the vehicle of a friend?

UPDATED: Oct 21, 2011

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Whose insurance should pay when a passenger is injured in the vehicle of a friend?

My child was riding in a friend’s car when the car was rear-ended. My child has sustained a moderate injury and I need to know to whom to send the bill.

Asked on October 21, 2011 under Personal Injury, Minnesota


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The driver of the vehicle that rear-ended your friend is at fault in the accident.  Your child's personal injury claim should be filed with the at-fault driver's insurance company. 

When your child completes his/her medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared to be permanent and stationary which means no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your child's medical bills and medical reports.  Your child's personal injury claim will consist of the medical bills and medical reports.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your child's injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance  company, reject the settlement offers, and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault driver.  You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your child.  If the case is settled with the insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance company, the lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault driver must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your child will lose his/her rights in the matter forever.

It would be premature to try to settle the case with the insurance company until your child has completed his/her medical treatment because you would not know the total bills and would not have the final medical report.  If the case is settled prematurely, you can't go back to the insurance company later and ask for more money.   

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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