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A tenant's car hit my Dad. What should I do?

Seattle, WA |

A couple days ago, a tenant was backing up and hit my dad. The tenant did not come out the car until we told him to. He was extremely rude and said it was all my dad's fault since he was behind his car. However, his injuries aren't life-threatening and he's fine. We are thinking we should sue the tenant and kick him out, although he doesn't have that much money.

So should we just kick him out or/and sue him?

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Attorney answers 7


If your dad is fine what would you expect to receive in a lawsuit? Personal injury claims compensate someone injured on the basis of the nature and extent of the injury caused and any other damages caused by the negligence such as medical expense, wage loss, etc. From what you describe your father has none of these injuries. You mention that the tenant does not have much money? Based on what happened to your dad would the jury award your dad anything? You say the tenant was rude? A jury would not award money because he was rude?
Does he pay his rent on time? Aside from being rude in this situation does he cause any problems. I assume he has a lease? What would be the basis under that lease for "kicking him out." I doubt rudeness is mentioned in your lease. If he is otherwise a good tenant--pays his rent and on time and does not cause any other problems, I would want to keep a tenant like that.

If you feel this is the "best" answer or is "helpful," please indicate. Since I am limited to the information you provide, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the answer. You should seek the advise of an attorney who can explore all aspects of your question. This communication does not form an attorney client relationship.



Thanks! I'm not that bright when it comes to these problems.


How would you like it if someone wanted to kick you out of your house for causing a minor accident. WWJD?

Jacob Brian Smith

Jacob Brian Smith


On point as usual.


It is your choice. Have you had problems with him before? Does he pay his rent on time? Can you get another tenant easily? I am sue there are many other considerations that go in to this decision.


A broken leg is not "life-threatening" but would still be an injury with damages that should be paid.

If the tenant has car insurance, your father should obtain the insurance information from the tenant and file a claim.

If the tenant does not have car insurance, the tenant likely is in violation of WA's mandatory insurance law that requires a vehicle's operator to have at least the statutory minimum level of liability coverage. The tenant's driver's license will be suspended if he causes damages and does not have at least the required minimum coverage.

A driver has a duty to take care to not run the driver's vehicle into another person or object. Unless your father suddenly jumped into the car's path, the tenant likely is liable for not checking that the way was clear for the tenant to move his vehicle.

Your father should review the specific facts with his attorney to find out his legal options.


An injury is an injury. You should consult with a personal injury attorney. If the tenant has car insurance, you will open a claim against the insurer. Car v. pedestrian accident will be covered under the other car's insurance company's pip or your dad's own pip coverage.

The information on this website is not intended to be legal advice.


As to suing, it depends on what you mean by "fine." The description "not life-threatening" leaves a lot of wiggle room.

As to kicking him out, in Seattle you must have just cause - even if he is month-to-month.

Consult an attorney familiar with both areas of law, and provide more details (but do not provide them online).

This answer is based on limited information provided and is not a substitute for legal advise. No attorney-client relationship is created. To protect your interests it is best to seek a private consultation with an attorney.


I agree with the other attorneys. Your dad should pursue the claim. One additional point: If the tenant doesn't have insurance your dad can recover under his own uninsured motorist policy.

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