An Orange County girls’ basketball team carrying 11 teammates was involved in a rear end auto accident yesterday, November 16, 2017 in Riverside, CA.
The girls were traveling to Banning, CA in the afternoon to play a game. The team was riding in a 2003 Ford van when a Jeep Grand Cherokee hit them from the rear.
The force of the impact caused a chain reaction. Their van was immediately pushed into a Chevy Blazer, which in turn was pushed into a Toyota Sequoia. The crash did not stop there however, as the Sequoia was then pushed into a Dodge Avenger. All of the girls in the basketball team were injured as a result of the crash.
As a personal injury lawyer, I see a great deal of accidents, and any time I hear about one I automatically go into analysis mode. Just from the information above, I can spot several issues that might be of note. First, the impact must have been extremely forceful. This is because of the number of impacts involved in the chain reaction. It is likely that the driver of the Jeep Grand Cherokee was driving extremely fast at the time of the accident.
Multiple Plaintiffs Complicate the Case
From a case handling standpoint, one of the main problems I see here is the problem of multiple plaintiffs. Most insurance policies in California have what is known as a split limit. If you have purchased insurance, you have seen this number: 15/30. This is the minimal policy required by law.
The split is per person/per accident. So if the defendant driving the Jeep was carrying the minimum required insurance, that would mean the most any one hurt person could get was $15,000. They most available for the total accident would be just $30,000 to be divided among all of the injured parties.
As you have guessed, that is incredibly low for an accident of this type. So far, assuming there were 11 girls in the van, 1 driver, and the drivers of the other 3 cars injured, that would be 15 total possible claimants to the 30K. An even division would leave just $2,000 for each person! This would be a nightmare scenario involving the attorneys mediating an inadequate settlement amongst all the claimants.
Underinsured / Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage Can Help
This math is the reason why it is important to look into an “uninsured / underinsured motorist” insurance policy. These policies are a type of insurance you purchase on yourself! That way, if someone with no insurance or too little insurance hurts you on the roads, you can make a claim for the difference against our own insurance company.
Something many people don’t know is that as a relative who lives in the household of someone covered under an underinsured motorist (“UIM”) policy, you can make a claim. So in this example, if the parents of the injured girls had a UIM policy, then an attorney could pursue that money as well.
RMD Law is wishing the people involved in the accident a speedy recovery. If you have been involved in an accident and have any questions, please call our personal injury lawyers any time for a free consultation.