Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Have you ever been in a situation where you were involved in a lawsuit with friends?

Asked by JLeslie (48014 points ) February 1st, 2014

The type of situation I mean is when an accident or some sort of negligence results in someone getting hurt. I’m interested in what happened whether it be you directly involved or maybe a set of friends you have, where in the end you had to choose a side because friendships tore. If everyone stayed friendly I would be interested in that too. I am very interested in the friendship dynamic. Whether it be an actual lawsuit or just going through insurance companies for the accident I want to know the story.

Did the person responsible for the accident immediately apologize, contact his insurance or offer to try to do something to help any medical costs for the person who was hurt? Or, did they hope the situation would dissappear? Did they avoid the person who got hurt as a result of their negligence.

Do you think you would go after money or want money whether it be done by legal action or just friends settling up themselves (anything from medical expenses incurred to a full blown lawsuit for loss of enjoyment of life, loss of the ability to do certain tasks, pain, and permanent problems related to the accident) if you were harmed by a friend or even a friend of a friend, when it might affect your friendship with your inner circle of close friends.

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5 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

”...the friendship dynamic…”

Each “friend” casts a unique perspective upon what that actually means.

Your question, seems to slant in a direction of a friend that would “avoid” responsibility. I suggest, from my perspective, that such a person was never a real friend in the first place.

A real friend accepts responsibility, perhaps even to a greater degree than what they are actually accountable for. A false friend runs like a cockroach when the lights are turned on.

hearkat's avatar

My son was a passenger in a car accident – his friend was driving, and they were racing another friend on damp roads (idiot teenagers). I was at the movies with a friend of mine when I got the text. Of course, no one mentioned the racing part until well after the fact, and they were over 18 when it happened.

They had minor injuries and were taken to the hospital to be checked. The driver and his mom apologized. In NJ, even as a passenger, your own insurance and health care insurance get involved, so my son had a $100.00 co-pay for the ER visit. I suggested to him that his friend should pay him back for that—I don’t know how he handled it, but they’re still friends 3 or 4 years later.

Judi's avatar

When my husband broke his knee we could have made a huge deal about it. He was hitching a ride for a few feet on the back of a friends pick up truck.
He said, “Don’t go so fast!”
All the guy heard was “go fast!”
We knew that a law suit could really have an effect on his insurance and we had good medical insurance. We didn’t even turn it in to his vehicle insurance even though it eventually cost us thousands in lost wages, co pays and pain. After the initial botched surgery he had to get a knee replacement.
Sometimes I look back and wonder if we should have gone back and had his vehicle insurance cover it but really the friendship was more important than the money.

JLeslie's avatar

My situation is a friend of a friend brought along a girl (30 year old girl) to a race event. She was driving his utility, golf cart type, vehicle, and a friend and I hopped in to drive over to the other side of the track. She went down a hill in a very wreckless, stupid, dangerous manner. Speeding fast, free wheeling (no brake no gas) and as we started to fly she knew I didn’t want to do it and she said, “I know it’s scary, it’ll be fine when we get to the bottom of the hill.” So, she purposely did a scary, dare devil thing while she had passengers in the vehicle who were not willing. She lost control crashed into a fence and I wound up in the hospital with a small tear in my lung, cuts and bruises everywhere, lots of pain, severe severe vertigo, and I still have neck and shoulder problems, and a few other things. The other passenger, a friend of mine, had a subdural hemotoma and is left with no sense of smell and almost no ability to taste. Her senses will likely never come back, it would be a miracle if her sense of smell came back.

The owner of the cart, who we knew, we see him at race events, and again he is friends with a close friend of ours, did immediately call his insurance, they say they don’t cover it. He also offered to help pay medical expenses, and actually at the time off the crash the driver, the “girlfriend” said to me she was going to “take of everything don’t worry.” That to me means money.

In the end no money. Here’s the thing. The owner of the cart has avoided all races we are at. My girlfriend has decided to file suit. It seems the lawyers believe insurance should pay. I really wanted to do it all in the friendliest way possible, knowing I was maybe just going to get my copays covered, while really I have permanent damage, which is more obvious now that time has past. Anyway, this past weekend at a race, the friend of ours who know the owner of the cart well, his wife (who can’t hold a secret to save her life, and the worst liar I know) tells me turns out the cart owner can’t make it to this recent race either because of mechanical difficulties. Bullshit! I think he saw that we signed up late. Then she says to me our friend filed suit. I couldn’t hold back, I said, “I might join the suit also, he has not followed through on what he said, he has avoided being at races we are at, I assume under legal advice, and if he shows up after two years at a race it will be devastating for us.” She said, “is that when you can’t file suit anymore? After two years?” I said back, “your husband is a lawyer, I am sure you know.” She replied, “it varies by state.” Which to me means she does know and she has discussed it, and I found out later my girlfriend who was in the accident had actually told her the deadline is two years.

So, it feels to me our friends are more on the side of the person who owns the golf cart thing, but I have no idea where they really stand, because the husband’ who is a lawyer, asked to stay out of it and remain neutral, which I can respect.

One thing to know is that at the racetrack we all sign wavers knowing the track is dangerous and we accept the risk. This was not on the track, but the perimeter road around the track, still on their property. The husbands (the racers) were fine just letting it all go, it is we two wives, my friend and I, who feel something, anything, should have been done, because this was not an accident as far as I am concerned, it was a purposeful dangerous risk that was taken that resulted in a crash that was fairly predictable. I am not a risk taker at all, I don’t like to be scared, I don’t even like scary movies.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, when people won’t do the right thing what other recourse do you have @JLeslie?

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