Skip to main content

If I have a large amt of money, $2 million liability umbrella on my cars and stepchild crashed, am I liable ?

North Las Vegas, NV |

I recently rec'd very large amount of money. I have 2 step children that live with us. I took out a 2 million dollar liability umbrella in addition to car insurance. If the 20 y/o would crash, and the car is in her name completely, am i liable? If the 16 y/o crashes, and my name is not on car, just her moms, am I liable? Am I liable at all since I am not their birth parent and I have not legally adopted them. Please advise. Thank you

Attorney Answers 6

  1. Yes you could be. Do you have permissive use?

    Ms. Johns can be reached at (866) 402-4038. Ms. Johns is a lawyer although she is not your lawyer unless and until you have consulted with her and signed a fee or letter agreement confirming her representation of you. This email does not otherwise constitute legal advice or create an attorney client relationship. Ms. Johns and her employees are not tax lawyers or financial advisors and do not give tax or financial advice of any kind. If you wish such services, please consult with the appropriate professional in that field.

  2. Having a small amount of insurance or large amount doesn't make you liable for anything. You would not be liable for your stepchildren who have their own cars.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755

  3. The amount of insurance you carry is not what determines liabililty. However, your liability exposure is very small, at best, and it sounds as if you are adequately covered. It sounds like the car insurance is in your name, or a houshold group, and that opens you to ownership/liability. If you are married to the 16 year olds mother, then the vehicle the 16 year old drives is community property (name on title irrelevant) and with everyone living in the same home, there is some tenuous liability exposure. Talk to an asset protection attorney about a living trust to better protect your funds, and investments that cannot be garnished.

    Responses are for general information purposes only, and are based on the extremely limited facts given. A consultation with an attorney experienced in the area of law(s) indicated in the question is highly recommended. Information and advice given here should not be relied upon for any final action or decision, as the information is limited by its nature to the question asked and the fact(s) presented in that question. THIS RESPONSE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY/CLIENT RELATIONSHIP, particularly considering that the names of the parties are unknown.

  4. No you would not be liable for your step children. Make sure your insurance covers permissive use before let them borrow your vehicles.
    Good Luck

    Check out my website below and give me a call for a free consultation if you are a California resident 877-427-2752 or you can email me at www. I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference

  5. I assume your net worth is above the 500k benchmark. From your question, it shows that you are concerned about liability issues. As you know that in our legal system it is relatively easy to sue someone. The most common estate planning tools as Family Trusts, Revocable Living Trusts will not protect you from lawsuits.

    You definitely need to sit down with an attorney with expertise in asset protection planning.

    Douglass Lodmell is the nations #1 Asset Protection attorney and has clients in all 50 states, protecting over $4 Billion in client assets. Answers given by him in this forum do not establish an attorney-client relation. He advises to seek a specialized attorney in the area of your interest for legal representation.

  6. The short answer to your question is: it depends.

    Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 41.440 codified the common law family purpose doctrine and states as follows:

    Any liability imposed upon a wife, husband, son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister or other immediate member of a family arising out of his or her driving and operating a motor vehicle upon a highway with the permission, express or implied, of such owner is hereby imposed upon the owner of the motor vehicle, and such owner shall be jointly and severally liable with his or her wife, husband, son, daughter, father, mother, bother, sister or other immediate member of family for any damages proximately resulting from such negligence or willful misconduct, and such negligent or willful misconduct shall be imputed to the owner of the motor vehicle for all purposed of civil damages.

    The Nevada Supreme Court in Arata v. Faubion, 161 P.3d 244, 123 Nev. 19 (2007) held that a step-parent could be "an immediate member of family" and remanded the case for a determination by the District Court.

    I agree with attorney Whitbeck that your best course of action is to protect the assets you do have. I would also keep the insurance levels you do have. It's better to be overinsured than underinsured in the event of a catastrophic injury.

Real estate topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics