Can you be sued for a car accident that you were not involved in? 29 Answers as of February 20, 2012

At one point my wife had her mom, dad, brother, and she on one insurance policy. I believe her brother got in an accident and now she is being sued, is there a way to fix this or is she liable.

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Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
She may be liable for negligent entrustment.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 8/17/2011
Cantor & Burger
Cantor & Burger | Gary K. Burger
She is not liable as she was not negligent. Have her tell that to her insurance company or their lawyer. Thanks.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 8/16/2011
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight | Earl K. Straight
I would need to know exactly what she is being sued for and under what legal theory the claimant is making to include her in the suit. The fact that she was on the same insurance policy is not enough. If she is the owner of the vehicle and she loaned it to her brother, she could be sued under a negligent entrustment theory. This is when you allow someone to use your car even though you know they should not be driving, such as if they have been drinking or are underage.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/15/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
She must be an owner of the vehicle.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/17/2011
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
Just sharing an insurance policy with others is probably not enough to get you sued. However, usually people do not share just an insurance policy, they usually share a common vehicle. If the brother got into an accident in your wife's car, your wife could be sued for negligently entrusting the car to her brother. Without more facts it is impossible to tell you whether you wife is liable or not. It depends on what the brother did and how your wife is connected.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 8/15/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    Your wife may not be personally liable simply because she helped provide insurance for your brother. The facts and circumstances surrounding the accident can make her liable if she negligently provided a car to someone that she knew was a poor driver, or if he was on some kind of mission or errand for her. Otherwise the insurance provided would be the plaintiff's recourse.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    It is unclear exactly how she is sued just for owning the car. Negligent entrustment comes to mind but you she needs to consult her insurance company who will provide her with a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Whose name is on the title of the car involved in the accident?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Retaina defendant's accident attorney to consult with andrepresent your family members. Your wife's insurance may cover most, if not all, of the other party's injuries and damages if your wife's brother'snegligence caused the accident.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C.
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C. | Dan Woska
    Your question is a bit confusing. If your wife had "title" to the car being used, she can be named in the suit even though not in the car when the accident took place. If your wife was simply one of several people covered by an insurance policy, I am unsure why she was named. Please contact an attorney and take the documents in for review.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Langer & Langer
    Langer & Langer | Jon Schmoll
    The mere fact that someone is an additional insured on your insurance policy should not make you legally liable for the conduct of that person.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    The owner of a car is responsible for its use as long as it is with permission. Let the insurance company deal with this. That is what you pay premiums for. It is not for you to worry about
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    If your mom had an ownership interest in the vehicle and it was being driven with her permission, she is a properly named defendant. Florida has what is called the "dangerous instrumentality doctrine," which is basically that a car is a dangerous instrumentality and any owner is liable for any damage caused by a driver who is using the vehicle with permission. The driver is also jointly responsible. Make sure your insurance company knows about the lawsuit immediately. The insurance company should hire your wife a lawyer at their expense, who will explain her rights and potential responsibilities and defend her in the lawsuit. That is the whole reason you buy insurance - they should cover the loss and pay for defense costs, so long as the policy covers those events. Call them right away and determine if they will help you/your wife. If they don't help you, you should consult with a lawyer in your area. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC | Andrew F. Garruto
    Your wife is most likely the named owner of the vehicle. In New Jersey, the driver is presumed to be the agent of the vehicle owner. Your wife's insurance company will provide a defense. If there is no agency between her and her brother, the claim or lawsuit against your wife will be dropped.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    There are some circumstances under which one can be held liable for a family member's negligence even when you are not involved in the accident. However, in most cases, you have to provide the vehicle to the family member. I would have to see the lawsuit to see what it alleges against your wife. Her insurance company will hire a lawyer to defend her, and the lawyer assigned to her will take action to get her dismissed from the suit if there are no grounds for liability.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Turn over to insurer. If not covered, then she needs counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    No one is liable for anything just because they are "on a policy". If she was at fault or if she was the titled owner, not the registrant which can be different from the owner, but if she actually owned the car, then she can be sued and held liable.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Law Offices of Richard Copeland, LLC
    Law Offices of Richard Copeland, LLC | Richard Copeland
    Not usually. In almost all cases, it is the negligent driver alone who is considered liable. However, one exception would be if your wife owned the car and loaned it to her brother while knowing that the brother was a dangerous driver or one with a bad driving record. This is called negligent entrustment, and she can be liable if she shouldn't have loaned the car to the brother in the first place.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    If your brother is driving the car, the owner is also liable.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    She should immediately contact the insurance company and tell them she has been sued.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    It may be that the Plaintiff's lawyer is suing everyone named on the policy just to make sure they have all possible parties, then they can let non-involved parties out. Your wife must bring this to the attention of the insurance company immediately if she has not already done so. The insurance company will (or has) assigned a lawyer to represent her, and that lawyer will handle it.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Depend on who owns the car. Everyone who owns the car is liable. Also if a relative lives in house with someone who was injured then pip insurance could be used
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Did she have an ownership interest in the vehicle? If not , I do not see the viability of the suit. Unless the carrier provided attorney can give her a good reason she should be included, she should make the carrier provide her a separate attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2011
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