A number of car accident lawsuits and personal injury cases involve parties who know one another. They may be friends, neighbors, or even family members. While plaintiffs may initially be reluctant to file a case against a loved one, these matters are often not about collecting directly from the defendant but instead from the defendant’s insurer. Often, it’s essential and the only way to get medical bills and lost wages covered.
A recent case before the Alabama Supreme Court involved two individuals who had been friends and neighbors for approximately 20 years prior to the incident in question. Every month – sometimes a couple times a month – the two women would shop together and share rides to help ease the burdens of gas prices and wear-and-tear on their vehicles, and to keep each other company. They typically alternated as to whose vehicle they would use.
On one morning in August 2013, the defendant called the plaintiff to ask if she could accompany her to the store. The defendant was taking her elderly aunt with her that day to buy medication and other merchandise in preparation for her aunt’s upcoming move out of state. The defendant explained the elderly aunt was “very old” and moved slowly, and the plaintiff said she would appreciate the extra help. The defendant also suffered from a number of health problems that impeded her mobility, but she was able to walk without assistance.