Can my son be sued for an accident that occurred when he was a minor?

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Can my son be sued for an accident that occurred when he was a minor?

I was just served a complaint that was filed against my son as the sole defendant when he was 17 years old . He is now 19. Can he be sued alone as a minor? He was driving someone’s vehicle which turned out to be uninsured at the time when he rear ended the vehicle that was driving in front of him. I can not seem to find an attorney to answer complaint from a defense side within the required 20 days so I am filing pro se. In that the 2 years to file a complaint has now run, can it be dismissed based on the fact that they are serving him alone and do not have him listed as a minor.

Asked on February 17, 2011 under Accident Law, Delaware

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Do you have insurance?  Then PLEASE, send off a copy to your insurance company and see if they will cover you for the date of loss.  Read your policy.  They may not "indemnify" him  - pay out money ona verdict of any sort - but the may defend him in the suit and answer the summons and complaint.  Answering your self is not bad per se but I am afraid that you will miss certain things to put in, known as "affirmative defenses."  First, the issue that you raise about the time frame is important.  It is known as the statute of limitations.  Put in an affirmative defense as follows: that the matter is barred by the failure of the plaintiff to file the action within the applicable statute of limitations.  Also put that the court lacks personal jurisdiction over the defendant for failure to properly serve the summons and complaint.  Put in that you are entitled to a set off as to damages under the law (this may or may not be true; in some states it is).  Put in that you are not  proper party to the action. These are listed as "first", "second" etc.  Also, you are going to have to sue the owner of the car ins a third party action.  Good luck to you. 


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