I was injured in a car accident caused by a texting teenager. I’m reluctant to sue her and her family because she’s young and made a mistake, but I also have medical bills to pay. What should I do?


You may be under a misapprehension about who, exactly, will be paying for your medical bills if you sue this teenager (and, if she was underage at the time, possibly her parents as well). In most cases, the liability insurance attached to the teenager’s car—or even her parents’ homeowners policy—will cover any payout from a successful lawsuit, even a substantial one amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s not as if the parents will have to sell their home and pull their daughter out of college! (What if the teenager has no liability insurance, and the parents have no homeowners insurance? Then you may well be out of luck, since if they have no insurance, they may not have much in the way of assets, either.)

Of course, being the subject of a civil suit will not be a pleasant experience for the texting driver, and you may feel guilty for bringing the full weight of the law down on her head. But look at it this way: if she gets off lightly for this offense, what’s to prevent her from continuing to text while driving, and possibly being involved in an even worse accident resulting in fatalities? You will have missed the opportunity to teach her an important lesson, and you’ll also be putting innocent drivers, passengers, and pedestrians at risk. And, don’t forget, you still have those medical bills to pay—and why should you drain your own bank account rather than holding the offending party responsible?

At The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm, we know that traffic accidents caused by texting drivers have to be treated with the utmost gravity. Questions? Call our Rockford car accident attorneys at 888-716-7336 for a free consultation today.