Can I get this law suit dismissed?
UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022
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Can I get this law suit dismissed?
My brother was in a car accident 2 years ago driving my truck but he wasn’t on the insurance. The insurance company of the other driver put a lawsuit against me to recover the money paid to their client. I am not working and I was not at the accident when it happened. I understand it was my responsibility cause I was the owner of the truck but we did not know an accident was going to happen I mean the word it self explains it, accident. Now I also found out that my driver’s licence is suspended because of this lawsuit. I spoke to the DMV and I gave them prove of insurance but they told me I did not have BIL which I did not know because I had told my insurance to put full coverage on the car. However, I guess full coverage is not actually full coverage. I need to know if I can get out of this situation cause my brother does not want to help and I am a stay-at-home mom.
Asked on December 1, 2017 under Accident Law, Florida
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
No, you cannot get the lawsuit dismissed. A vehicle's owner is responsible or liable for any accident that a person they permitted to drive gets into, if that person was at fault in causing the accident (e.g. was driving negligently, carelessly, recklessly, etc.). It doesn't matter that you did not know an accident was going to occur--no one ever knows in advance that one will occur, and that never lets anyone off the hook for their responsibility or liability. The act of letting someone drive your vehicle makes you liable for whatever they did with it, whether or not you had any preknowledge. And if you were thinking of trying to claim that you did not let your brother drive, that will not work unless he stole the truck from you AND you reported it as stolen and pressed charges: anyone who drives your vehicle without stealing it does so with your permission.
You can, however, sue your brother for any costs you incur or amounts you have to pay due to his accident: if he caused the accident, he is liable for the consequences of it, even to the car's owner (you).
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