What to do if my adult daughter was at fault for a car accident but was on the clock at work getting product from another store?

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What to do if my adult daughter was at fault for a car accident but was on the clock at work getting product from another store?

She rear-ended someone. My insurer is now saying they aren’t responsible and will not pay anything for our car or the car she hit. If her work doesn’t cover the damages, am I liable for them?

Asked on June 24, 2015 under Accident Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Her employer is not responsible or liable, and also does not have to reimburse or indemnify her, unfortunately. Or, to be more accurate: if she was working at the time, the injured party (the plaintiff) may be able to sue the employer in addition to or instead of your daughter, but is not required to do so--they could choose to just sue your daugher as the at-fault driver. And the employer has no legal oblgiation to pay for or defend the torts (e.g. accidents) of its employees, even if they were on the job, unless there was some written agreement (e.g. a written employment contract) requiring them to do so. So while her work could choose to cover damages, they don't have to. If it was your car and you presumably allowed your daughter to drive it (she didn't steal it from you), the you would be liable for the damges or costs if your daughter, as permitted driver, was at fault. If your insurance doesn't cover, you will have to pay personally.

Re-read your policy--if you think that under its terms your insurer should pay, you could sue the insurer for breach of contract to recover compensation from them. You also have the right to sue your daughter to make her pay any award, if she was at fault.


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