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Car driver hit person, sueing family for damages

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Ok. We were talking about this at work today. Its a very interesting topic so I thought I would see what everyone here would do.

I don't knnow all the details but this is how the story goes.


A young women in Quebec hit an older lady crossing the street. The woman wasn't crossing at cross walk. She just walked acroos a four lane highway.

Unfortunally the older lady was killed. It was not the fault of the driver and she wasn't charged for anything.

Now she is sueing the older lady's family for damage done to her car.

I think its fine for her to sue. It was after all the older woman's fault for crossing where she shouldn't have. Why should the driver have to pay higher insurance for the damages occured by the careless street crosser.

If she had hit the women and the accident being totally her fault I could see not sueing for damages, but in this case I think the driver has every right.
post #2 of 25
Legally she may have every right.

Morally I think it's disgusting. If I took someone's life, even if it were their fault, I wouldn't have the heart to then turn around and sue their family. That's just me and obviously other people feel differently that me.

For me, it's not so much a question of wether she's entitled to any $$$ as far as the law goes. Put yourself in the older ladies families shoes, you lost a loved one (and it's no easier even if was said loved ones fault that they passed) and now you're being sued for the damages your loved ones body caused to the car.

Personally I have a problem with the ethics, not the law in this case. But just because I couldn't do it doesn't make it wrong.
post #3 of 25
That sounds familiar. My landlords husband and son were killed by a dump truck driver who t-boned them. He is suing her. The case has been going on for 5 years.
The law is fine, but why add to the pain of the family?
post #4 of 25
Why sue the family? The family didn't make the lady cross the highway!! I agree there is way too much sueing. However, the person whose car was hit should only be entitled to sue the person who caused the damage. Unfortunately, that person is now dead.
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
So by the stupidity of one person (the one crossing the street in the wrong crossing area) the other person (the one driving) should have to deal with higher insurance and paying for the damage done to her car? I don't think so.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by Creepyowl
So by the stupidity of one person (the one crossing the street in the wrong crossing area) the other person (the one driving) should have to deal with higher insurance and paying for the damage done to her car? I don't think so.
I think Miss Charlotte said it best. Yes, people should have the right to sue the person who caused the damage. In this case, that person is dead. The family should not be liable for any damages, especially for the person who killed their family member.
post #7 of 25
I'm curious - to clarify, is she suing the deceased woman's estate, or the family?

If she needs to get funds for car repairs, she should be able to get it from the woman's estate. But to sue the grieving family is cruel and immoral. How is the family responsible for her actions? She was an adult, not a child.
post #8 of 25
I have to side with Creepyowl on this one. Someones going to have to pay for the damages, the ladys dead, so I suppose her family would have to pay the bill. I don't see how its cruel of sick, shes just trying to get her car fixed after some old lady walked out in front of it.
Im not sure exactly what tuxedokitties ment by estate.

Peace,
Brandon
post #9 of 25
Get it in persective. It only a car. A piece of metal. This is against a lost life. OK - so someone was crossing a road where they shouldn't have. It can be argued that the driver should also have been alert enough to spot someone that might have potentially stepped out onto the road - after all anticipation is 9/10ths of what driving is all about.

Several years ago I witnessed a fatal road accident. Right under my nose. An old lady on one of these mobility carriages was waiting to cross the road at a traffic island. For some reason - whether she didn't notice her surroundings or whether there was a mechanical failure with her little cart, she drove out onto the road infront of a car.

The car hit her and flung her into the air. She landed infront of my car. Thankfully I was already almost at a standstill as I kind of saw this happening in weird slow motion at I approached.

Anyway - the upshot was that the old lady died later the same day in hospital (she had horrible head injuries), and I had to attend an inquest who ultimately returned a verdict of accidental death.

What I'm trying to say is that I watched the reactions of the poor family as the evidence was read out (they were understandably distraught)and also the reactions of the poor girl that hit the old lady. She was truly truly shaken.

That sequence of events will stay with me forever.

I tell you - if this country ever gets to the point where this kind of litigation becomes the norm or even remotely acceptable, I will leave and go and live somewhere where there is still some common sense and compassion and NOT where a lump of metal and a few pounds/dollars becomes more important that respect for a human life.
post #10 of 25
I'm putting myself in the situation, and wondering what i would do.

If it were me, i'd sue for repairs to my car 'IF' this lady were still alive.

But because she's not, i could'nt . Her family are suffering enough,
And whats more, i think i would still be having nightmares of what happened, even though it was'nt my fault!.

Susan
post #11 of 25
I don't know about other places but, in AZ, pedestrians have the right-of-way, as long as they are in a crosswalk. I've never heard of anybody suing the family/estate of a pedestrian killed in an MVA.

This twit should just suck it up, have her insurance pay for the car repairs and be a bit more vigilant, in the future.

On the other hand, the family of the deceased is well within their rights to file a wrongful-death suit, against the driver. Common practice, these days is "you-sue-me-I'll-sue-you". I'm not advocating this, as there are way too many frivolous lawsuits, merely pointing out the situation.
post #12 of 25
I have no idea how I feel about this, but I am sure she is not suing the family to hurt them, she is issuing a lawsuit so that the liability insurance will pay up. I do believe she is entitled to do that.

So the question should be, is it OK for her to sue the woman's insurance company to get a payout on her personal liability insurance?
post #13 of 25
But she wasn't on a crosswalk. She crossed a 4 lane highway!!!
Im sure the courts would throw out any attempt of the family to sue, because it was obviously an accidental death.

Peace,
Brandon
Quote:
Originally posted by katl8e
I don't know about other places but, in AZ, pedestrians have the right-of-way, as long as they are in a crosswalk. I've never heard of anybody suing the family/estate of a pedestrian killed in an MVA.

This twit should just suck it up, have her insurance pay for the car repairs and be a bit more vigilant, in the future.

On the other hand, the family of the deceased is well within their rights to file a wrongful-death suit, against the driver. Common practice, these days is "you-sue-me-I'll-sue-you". I'm not advocating this, as there are way too many frivolous lawsuits, merely pointing out the situation.
post #14 of 25
Quite a few years ago, in my hometown, a guide dog led it's blind owner across the street in the middle of the block. The dog and owner were hit by a car, and in this particular case, the police said that it didn't make any difference if they were crossing the street in the right place or not, the driver of the car still should have been able to stop. I wonder what the police who investigated the accident that killed the elderly lady would say?
post #15 of 25
I find it rather cold and selfish to think of one's car and monetary loss to be more valuable than a human life. I guess some people forget that material things can be replaced while a life is irreplaceable.
post #16 of 25
I agree that the woman should have the right to sue the estate or her insurance liability company. She doesn't have the ethical right to sue the family tho. Thats just too cold.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by yayi
I find it rather cold and selfish to think of one's car and monetary loss to be more valuable than a human life. I guess some people forget that material things can be replaced while a life is irreplaceable.
I totally agree with this! and Yola!
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by WellingtonCats
I totally agree with this! and Yola!
As do I.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by yayi
I find it rather cold and selfish to think of one's car and monetary loss to be more valuable than a human life. I guess some people forget that material things can be replaced while a life is irreplaceable.
Shes not saying that her car is more important than a life, she just wants the damage repaired. You can't blame someone for wanting money to fix their car after someone walks out infront of them.

Peace,
Brandon
post #20 of 25
I actually don't drive (a phenomenom peculiar to people raised in Manhattan lol) but if I hit and killed a person (or even a dog or a cat)even by accident, the event would horrify me. I cannot imagine turning my thoughts towards filing a lawsuit against the person's estate or family. Why would an insurance company be involved? I'm not sure what type of insurance would cover this-the dead woman wasn't driving a car, so it wouldn't be auto insurance. Somehow this seems outside the bounds of the usual household liability policy.

My assumption also is that the elderly woman was not in full possession of her faculties, to even do this in the first place.

While this is not directly related to this topic, I think the deaths caused by automobiles where the driver is in violation of a law, seem to be an area where the punishment generally doesn't fit the crime. This week, a former US Congressman was sentenced to just 4 months in jail for causing the death of a motorcyclist when he ran right through a stop sign at an intersection where the other man had the right of way, and sent him & his motorcycle flying into an adjoining field.

I assume that the man's family will file a civil suit against him for wrongful death and hope they get a bundle. They proved in court that it was not uncommon for him to do things like this, including having testimony from a woman who was crossing the same corner on foot and was almost run down by him when he ran through the stop sign. Just tonight, I was crossing an avenue in the city walking east at an intersection where the westbound street that intersects it begins on the side that I was coming from. I was crossing with the light, and fortunately wasn't walking too quickly because a driver in the eastmost lane ran right through the red light. She was at no risk of being hit by another car but she sure could've gotten me!
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by Cougar
Shes not saying that her car is more important than a life, she just wants the damage repaired. You can't blame someone for wanting money to fix their car after someone walks out infront of them.

Peace,
Brandon
Actually, it does sound like her car is more important than a life. I can understand she wants the damage repaired and needs the money to do so but suing the family she gives me the impression of a person that is telling the world "Sorry, lady, my 1 ton car had no chance against your 100+lb body. My steel frame is worth more than your blood and guts spilled all over the road. I'd rather go after your family than the insurance company to pay the bills. You see, it will cost me less and I have better chance to win the case"
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by yayi
Actually, it does sound like her car is more important than a life. I can understand she wants the damage repaired and needs the money to do so but suing the family she gives me the impression of a person that is telling the world "Sorry, lady, my 1 ton car had no chance against your 100+lb body. My steel frame is worth more than your blood and guts spilled all over the road. I'd rather go after your family than the insurance company to pay the bills. You see, it will cost me less and I have better chance to win the case"
Thats a graphic way of putting it
Still, I don't think its wrong at all. Mabye its just me.

Peace,
Brandon
post #23 of 25
I agree with what every one is saying, but here in Saskatchewan any way, I'm not sure about Quebec if you have an accident, insurance *will* (too a degree)pay but your premiums will sky rocket and you have to pay for the repairs and you get reimbursed, not the full amount either mind you just a percentage. I think it's different in the states.
post #24 of 25
I would try to get it out of my own insurance company, call it vandilism or something...
Anyway, I would not want to keep the car that I hit and killed someone with! Fix the car and sell it and get a new car.
As far as who should pay for the damages, I think the lady's estate should pay for it. A court has already determined who was at fault for the accident. The lady cannot be brought back to life but the person who hit the lady still has her life and should be entitled to living it as it were before the accident since the accident was not deemed her fault.

IMO
post #25 of 25
I cannot believe I am so taken by this post that I actually registered to post the message.

But before one judges the person who is starting the action one should seek out the full facts of the information. Often in cases involving insurance, litigation is initiated not by the person involved but by the insurance company. Although it will be the person's name on the docket and case file, it is the insurance company that is doing the litigation. What may be happening is that the car driver's insurance company may be suing the old lady's insurance company.

Which explains why you sometimes see a wife suing her husband or vice versa in a car accident. Not because they hate each other but it is the only way they can collect from the insurance.

Remember while you might see the case reported as being initiated by so and so, it does not mean that insurance companies are intrically not involved in the process.
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