My 88 year old mother lives with my wife and I, can we be held liable if she is sued in an accident?

My mother is 88 and still drives but my wife and I don’t think that she should be driving. Since my mother is headstrong and will drive anyway, can we be held liable if she is in an accident and is sued?

Asked on July 27, 2010 under Accident Law, Washington


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There are two ways that I could see them coming after you. One, if your Mother had an interest in your property then they would go after her assets.  Two, if your state allowed "stacking" of insurance policies which is when there are more than one policies in a household and the law allows an injured party to attach the polices if the policy of the negligent part is insufficient in relationship to the claim.  Washington State does not allow stacking as far as I can tell.  There is another way: if you were the guardian or conservator I could see you having some liability.  It is very difficult to stop someone from driving. It is, to them, taking their freedoms away.  Maybe hiring a driver would be a good idea.  Give it some thought.  Good luck.

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