Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jan 6, 2012

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Insurance Question from Lawton, OK

Asked on 01/06/2012

Father is co-owner of a car with no insurance but has 3 other insured vehicles, The daughter hit and totaled my car. Can I hold the father liable? A father co-signs for a car for his daughter. she allows her insurance to lapse. Her father, co-owner of the car, has full coverage insurance on 3 other vehicles. The daughter, driving the uninsured vehicle, hits and drags my car 40 feet. My car is totaled. I have liability coverage only. Can I hold the father and his insurance liable?

Answer given on January 08, 2012

If the father merely co-signed for the insurance on the daughter’s car, he may not be on title to the car. It would be the responsibility of the daughter to maintain the insurance on the car. If the insurance lapsed due to nonpayment, the lender for the car should have been advised, and they may have placed insurance on the car. You should check with the lender on the other party’s car to see if they did, in fact, place insurance on the car, and see if they included liability insurance on it. They may have only placed coverage for damages to the car.Simply because the father has insurance on his other cars, he is not legally liable for the damages caused by his daughter. His insurance will not respond to repair your auto since they were not insuring the car that caused the damages.Even though you only had liability insurance on your car, contact your agent to see if you have uninsured motorist property damage coverage. If you do, then your insurance policy will pay for damages, usually up to $3,500 if the other driver is identifiable. The insurance company will then try to recover their payment from the other party.


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