Child's best friend and legal issues

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Child's best friend and legal issues
By Aurora1219 (Aurora1219) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 09:10 am: Edit

My 16 D was involved in serious auto accident with 4 other kids. Severe injuries for all, one life threatening (my d best friend is still in ICU, 76 days). my d received fractured vertabrae, fingers, butt bone, and is out of hospital.
driver of car, a friend of my daughters boyfriend (also in car)is 18 and was over the legal limit alchohol which is what caused accident. trial is coming at end of month. my daughters best friend is still stuggling with her injuries (severe spinal cord damage,etc)and her parents have retained an attorney, who wants to talk to my d and the other 2 kids (not the driver). i have talked to the other kids moms and we feel uncomfortable letting our kids talk to this lawyer. Mainly he is a LAWYER, and our kids are scared to talk to him "they might say something that is wrong due to being nervous,etc." We have been putting this lawyer off, and it is straining my d relationship with her best friend. the mom keeps asking when will she talk to him. We (the other 3 moms) are thinking of using the same attorney,so our kids can meet with him, because we know no one else. He is a friend of a friend (also an attorney who does not do injury) of one of the moms. Is this wise to use one attorney for 3 of the passengers? Should they talk without one? what would you do? has anyone been here?

By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 09:47 am: Edit

Many lawyers will give a free first consultation. If I were you and did not have an attorney in the family I would go to at least 3 and hear what each has to say. This is a serous situation and you need more professional guidance.

By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 09:48 am: Edit

Also, I'm very sorry to hear about this situation for you and God Bless.

By Drusba (Drusba) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 09:55 am: Edit

My best advice:

1. Get thee immediately to a lawyer and not one shared by others.

2. Immediately, if you have not already done so, give notice of this accident to your automobile insurer and probably also your homeowners insurer.

Often in accidents lawyers for an injured will attempt to interview passengers and very often there is little to be concerned about and cooperating is the best course. However, we have alcohol involved here. I do not know (and don't want to be told here) if your daughter: (a) knew the driver was intoxicated; (b) had an opportunity to prevent the driver from driving; (c) made some stupid statement to the driver where others could hear like, "I know you are drunk but go ahead and drive anyway." In other words, one issue of concern is whether your daughter could be sued. If your daughter is in anyway a target for a claim, your auto or homeowners insurance might apply to provide protection against the claim.

Next, your daughter is injured. You do not know long term effects of that (you may later learn there is something serious you do not know now). Your daughter probably has a claim against the driver and possibly an owner of the car or other person who gave the driver permission. If the driver is uninsured or underinsured, your automobile policy may provide coverage for your daughters injuries.

It is important to give notice to insurers now, if you have not already done so, because the failure to give timely notice of an accident to an insurer can result in the complete loss of any coverage.

By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 10:25 am: Edit

I agree with Drusba.

By Arizonamom (Arizonamom) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 11:14 am: Edit

I agree about having your own lawyer the laws are extremely strict with alcohol and passengers, even if any of the passengers have had one sip of alcohol and were not legally drunk there are legal ramifications so make sure there are no surprises. I am so sorry you have to go through this and will keep you in my prayers.

By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 11:47 am: Edit

I agree with Drusba. Not knowing anything about the attorney that your d's friend has hired, and not knowing his or her stategies in the suit, you would be best protected to contact an attorney today. I can guarantee you that you will sleep better knowing what's going on.

Good luck and God bless to your daughter and her friends.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 11:53 am: Edit

Always always always get your own attorney.

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 12:44 pm: Edit

I agree with the above advice completely. We are involved in some litagation regarding my son's accident earlier this summer as well and some of the craziest claims and situations can come up. Your daughter needs to be told, and your attorney will insist on this, that you do not talk about the accident. It is best to get your own attorney and let the hired guns do their jobs in murkey situations like this.

By Dg5052 (Dg5052) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 12:52 pm: Edit

Another vote for getting your own lawyer--and make sure it's one who does a lot of this type of work. If you don't know anyone, you can check with your local bar association for at least 2 and possibly 3 referrals--do comparison shop to see who instills confidence in you. The attorneys should be listed by their specialties with the local bar--this is considered personal injury/auto accident. Good luck to you.

By Momsdream (Momsdream) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 04:10 pm: Edit

Just a comment on the "you don't know what the long term impact will be"....

Last summer my mom starting to suffer from seizures. One moment could be walking down the street and then be on the ground having a very painful seizure that gripped 1 side of her body. She went to numerous specialists. After about a month of this, she learned that part of the covering to her spinal cord was worn away. Her nerves were exposed and she was (as her doc put it) short circuiting. The problem was traced back to a boating accident that occurred some 40 years earlier where she and my father went sailing with another couple on their (the other couple's boat) and the boom swung hit her in the back. She and my dad decided not to sue because this was, after all, their friend. The accident was pretty serious and she was in pain for a long time. But, now she has to be on seizure controlling meds for the rest of her life (which make her sleepy).

You just never know....

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