While Timko, as both victim of an out of control road rage incident, and Kaitlyn's father, might seem like an unlikely defendant because he has no assets, this suit, like the Harrisons', will target his insurance on the basis of negligent driving.
"Kaitlyn continues to have an active relationship with her father and they still have visits with each other," Hardwerk said.
The suit doesn't accuse Timko of routine reckless behavior or general bad parenting, and it's likely Timko is aware this may be his daughter's only way of supporting her ongoing psychological care.
Culleton offered some insight into the possibility that what may seem like a situation fraught with vitriol, may in fact not be.
"Regardless of familial relationship, there is no impediment to bringing a claim against an offending family member," he said. "It does not imply or require hard feelings."
It's certainly the case that Timko's initial insurance was not sufficient for this particular eventuality. Many people only carry the minimal auto insurance, which in Pennsylvania would pay out a mere $5,000 towards medical expenses.
Sayde Ladov, past chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association and partner in the law firm of Dolchin, Slotkin and Todd said the case shines a light on the imperfect nature of the insurance system.
Most motor vehicle policies exclude coverage for intentional acts, such as Squillaciotti firing a gun into the car. Some policies include "uninsured motorists coverage," in which case you have to proceed against your own carrier to gain benefits.
Most drivers don't carry the most comprehensive insurance, which might cover such eventualities, because they're more expensive. Even with the most expensive policies, there are usually several exclusions.
"Insurance can only insure against what is a forseeable risk," Ladov said. "And if the risk is not forseeable and the gentleman who is the shooter has no assets and the insurance policy on her dad's vehicle doesn't cover it, Kaitlyn's out of luck."
Kaitlyn and her father have handled the situation by simply not discussing the case, Hardwerk said, but Fassler cautioned that if the suit does create further friction between Kaitlyn's parents there's a danger it may still be counterproductive for Kaitlyn herself.
"Ongoing conflict between parents, with or without legal involvement, puts kids at increased risk of emotional and behavioral problems, Fassler said. "In general, the sooner things get resolved, the better, for everyone involved."