Can a Warrent in Debt be awarded to a plaintiff if the defendant has no assests and is a full-time student?

My 18 year-old daughter was involved in an auto accident on her way to school. 3 cars were involved. She was the trailing car at an intersection. All 3 cars were proceeding through an intersection after the traffic signal changed to give them the right of way. The car in front of her stopped abruptly. She tried unsuccessfully to stop the car she was driving and rear-ended the car in front of her. No damages were caused to either of the cars because of the slow speed. The passenger of the second car is suing my daughter for loss of wages and pain and suffering. What should we do?

Asked on September 17, 2010 under Accident Law, Virginia


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Contact your insurance company immediately.  Hopefully you did so when you were involved n the accident but you need to forward the Summons and Complaint (the papers that came that show she is being sued) to our insurance company immediately.  Make sure that you forward them to someone directly and I would do so by certified mail return receipt requested.  If your child is not actually named in the insurance policy, most states have a doctrine known as "permissive use" meaning that she is covered for accidents if she had your permission to drive the car.  Look under the definitions section of your policy under "covered persons" and see what it says.  That would mean that she is entitled to a defense at the expense of the insurance company AND indemnification if there is a judgement rendered against her (note: the insurance company will only indemnify up to the limits of the policy but they have an obligation to settle a claim within your policy limits as well).  Yes, they can obtain a judgement and collect on it when she does have assets.  And they can sue you as well if you were the owner of the vehicle.  Get legal help now.  Good luck.

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