Can a parent be liable for an accidentif an adult child is still on their car insurance?

UPDATED: Jul 22, 2011

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UPDATED: Jul 22, 2011Fact Checked

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Can a parent be liable for an accidentif an adult child is still on their car insurance?

The car is in the child’s name.

Asked on July 22, 2011 Ohio


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First, the child is now considered an adult. So this is not about a parent child relationship but rather insured's (primary and secondary) relationship to each other and to the car. Sounds silly but here goes. If you are each individually insured and the car is insured to include any and all as allowable covered drivers of that particular car, then any and all can be sued (you, the driver known as the adult child, and the insurance company). Whether or not you will be able to be dismissed from the case will depend on any number of factors, including whether your insurance company will represent all of you as parties, whether the counsel is effective in getting you dismissed as a party and whether or not the judge will agree. Usually, however, a lawsuit is really only filed if settlement negotiations go nowhere and the damages are so extensive the insurance company will only cover a small portion of those damages.

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