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How is Compensation Divided When Several People are Injured?

Most accident victims are paid by insurance companies who issue liability policies to drivers. In rare cases, the at-fault driver might have to pay for the damages out of their own pocket, but the vast majority of people don’t have the money to do that.

Thus when an accident happens where there are multiple victims, all of the injured are usually compensated from one source. So what happens when there is not enough money to go around?

Multiple People Hospitalized after Crash in Visalia

Two cars collided in Visalia sending both drivers and a passenger to the hospital with serious injuries. The accident happened Friday night, May 22, 2020, when a car crossed the centerline and struck an oncoming vehicle at North Chinowth St and North Carl Dr.

Officers at the scene say that all three were transported to the hospital with serious injuries. The accident is under investigation, and it’s not known at this time why the car crossed the centerline.

Liability for Multiple Victims

So what happens when the compensation won’t cover all the damages that are incurred by multiple victims? California is tied with several other states in having the lowest required minimum auto insurance at just $15,000 and $30,000 cap for more than one victim.

So that means that if there are three victims, there is only $30,000 to go between them. This isn’t very much money when the hospital bills alone can close in on $30,000. Then lost time from wages, any disability, long-term care needs or things like loss of future wages all have to come from the one source.

Dividing the Money

The law doesn’t give much guidance on how the money is divided. If the case goes to a trial, then the jury will decide who gets what. However, most of these cases settle which means the attorneys and the insurance adjuster will get together and try to come up with a settlement that everyone can agree to.

In many cases, it’s he (or she) who has the best attorney get more of the money. Not sure if that’s true in every case, but if a victim goes into the meeting without an attorney, it’s unlikely that he or she will do very well.

Own Insurance Policy

There is one other place to look for compensation for the victim. If the injured person has their own auto insurance and they have uninsured and underinsured motorist’s coverage, then that will pay for their losses that aren’t covered by the at-fault driver’s policy.

The bottom line in an accident like this is you need an attorney to fight with you. By law, the other attorneys have to look out for their client’s interests first. In these cases, the insurance adjuster will often just leave it to the attorneys to fight it out as they know their company will have to pay the full policy. So talk to an attorney right away.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer.

After an accident involving a serious injury in the Central Valley, contact attorney Martin Gasparian for a free consultation and case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian takes a hands-on approach to every case. He believes that every client should work directly with their lawyer, get honest advice and personalized attention to detail their case deserves.

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