What is the name of your state? Maryland
My 19 year old Australian au pair (who is listed on our auto insurance policy) rolled into an 84 year old pedestrian and was cited with failure to yield to a pedestrian. We called the rescue squad and an ambulance took the lady to the nearest hospital. I called to see how she was doing, but they could give me no information. Our au pair is a licensed driver. My 2 1/2 year old daugther and I were in the car at the time of the accident, but I didn't see anything. My au pair stopped at a stop sign, looked both directions and rolled forward then stopped. I didn't even realize she hit someone and asked why she stopped. The lady looked fine, but I have since learned from her auto insurance that she broke her hip and femur in two places and now has been moved to an assisted living facility (the accident occured in May 2004 and it is now July 2004).
We have state minimum liability and we have no umbrella policy. We own 1/2 of our home, and we are afraid we will lose it. We want to do the right thing, but worry that our futures will be devastated by the medical costs the lady has incurred. We feel terrible about the whole thing, too.
The lady had underinsured motorist insurance, and our au pair has been contacted to provide a statement to them.
Our au pair's court date is August 13, and we were going to have her represented by the public defender, but since we have learned of the injuries, we are inclined to have her represented by a friend of ours who is a personal injury lawyer.
I have several questions:
What are we liable for as owners of the car?
What is my au pair liable for?
I understand that MD is a hybrid no fault state. What does this mean?
What can we do (apart from contact a lawyer) to protect ourselves and our assets?
Is it a bad idea to pay for her private legal defense? Does this imply some kind of responsibiity?