Visitor Question

Auto Insurance Liability Question…

Submitted By: SS (Pennsylvania)

I co-signed on a car for my daughter and therefore had to be listed on the insurance policy for the vehicle along with her. She is the principal driver.

If she gets in an accident (that is her fault) and there are injuries to others, can I be held liable and sued? She is NOT a minor.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear SS,

Yes, you can be held liable if your daughter becomes involved in a collision. You can potentially be responsible for any property damage to another’s vehicle and for any injuries to the other driver(s).

When we say you can be held liable we do not mean you will automatically have to pay any money out of your own pocket. What we mean is your insurance policy will pay for the other driver’s property damage, the cost of her medical treatment, and other related expenses. The effect of this might a rise in your insurance premiums.

We suggest you look closely at the amount of insurance you and your daughter purchased. If it’s the minimum amount available you might consider increasing the policy limits.

In the unlikely event your daughter becomes involved in a collision and she is the at-fault driver, the injured party will look to the policy limits to see if there is enough coverage to pay her medical bills, treatment, therapy, out of pocket expense, and possibly her lost wages.

If the amount of your policy limits is not sufficient to pay all of the above, the injured party may be able to come after you and your daughter personally, looking to attach your property to be sold to pay the medical bills and other expenses we mentioned.

The point is to make sure you are comfortable with the amount of insurance coverage you and your daughter have. For only a few dollars more a month you can increase those policy limits to a much higher amount.

Then in the case of a collision you will have little to be concerned about, because your insurance coverage limits should be sufficient to cover almost any eventuality.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: August 14, 2011

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