What to do if my 18 year old daughter had an auto accident in a car registered to me?

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What to do if my 18 year old daughter had an auto accident in a car registered to me?

She was covered on my policy and they paid the claimants 50k despite both her insurer and my insurer feeling it was fraudulent based on very little physical damage to the cars. What is my liability and that of my daughter now that they have decided to come after us?

Asked on February 11, 2014 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Insurance coverage is complicated, but this is something that reverts back to a more common sense answer. Insurance is considered to "follow the vehicle" in most cases and the vehicle owners insurance is primarily responsible for damages. Both owners will not be required to carry insurance on the vehicle though. If the one who primarily drivers the vehicle has insurance on it, then the law has been satisfied.
The one who caused this loss, considered the tortfeasor, would be the person named in any suit(no matter who’s insurance covers the vehicle). Most all states see that it would not be fair to punish a party that is not responsible for the loss(the co-owner) unless they contributed to this loss in some manor. Now anyone came be named in a suit but that does not mean that the suit will prevail. The most common example of a co-owner being sued for additional damages is when they are the parent or guardian of the driver(and the co-owner or sole owner) of the vehicle and a suit is brought for negligent entrustment(stating that the parent and co-owner should have known about the drivers propensity to drive under the influence.) If the driver had a history of DWI then this suit may be successful.

Your insurance carrier should have obtained a full release for you and your daughter before paying the $50,000. I suggest that you immediately consult with an attorney in your community experienced in insurance law. Once can be found on attorneypages.com.


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