Simi Valley, CA asked in Car Accidents for California

Q: Question about parents liability for their minor child in an auto accident...see below

(In California) I was injured when a 16 year old driver hit me on my motorcycle. Police report & she was clearly at fault. As a minor, she is on her parents insurance policy that only has a 50K limit for my medical. My medical exceeds that limit by twice that. CA vehicle code 17707 says her parents are liable. Can I sue her parents for additional medical bills and my lost wages for 7 weeks of work ?

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2 Lawyer Answers
William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes, you can. What makes you think that they can pay? Or that they won't file for bankruptcy if you pursue their personal funds? No one wants to chase a judgment for 10 years for some monthly payments. If you carried Underinsured Motorist insurance in excess of $50k, you can recover from that. Otherwise, unless these people are wealthy (and if they were they would have more than $50k in liabililty insurance), you are probably not going to get more than $50k.

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The reality is not whether they are liable, but rather if they can pay.

Their ins co will not settle without full waiver.

If you are driving a motorcycle you need very high limits and UM/UIM and an umbrella policy.

Did you have that?

In my experience you should not drive a MC without High ins.

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