Car Accident Claims Against Family Members
Not long ago, accident claims against family members were prohibited in all jurisdictions. The rationale was that it is terrible public policy for family members to sue each other (or even make pre-litigation claims against each other). The law was called inter-family torn immunity, which included spousal- immunity. In most jurisdictions, a victim of negligence may make accident claims against family members, although the claim is limited to the insurance policy limits. This is a much better law, allowing compensation under a policy paid for just such an occurrence (to compensate those injured by the insured’s negligence). Therefore, if you have been injured due to the negligence of a family member, consult with a DC auto accident lawyer today to discuss what options may be available.
A few years ago, we represented a woman who was very seriously injured when her husband drove his vehicle, in which my client was a passenger, into the garage of a home. The accident was covered on the local news. The elderly husband swore that the brakes failed and that the vehicle operated independently to cause the accident. Not surprisingly, the driver’s insurer inspected the car and determined that the driver’s error caused the accident. The wife’s injuries included a fractured kneecap and significant residual scarring. The medical bills incurred were in excess of $50,000.00, and the case ultimately settled for several hundred thousand dollars. My client was fortunate that she and her husband had a substantial policy and that the law now allows a spouse to claim her husband.