Hopefully you have or had a divorce lawyer. If so, you need to contact them ASAP because you could be held responsible since you were still married at the time. Is this crash mentioned in your final divorce decree? There could be other mitigating factors in your favor, but you probably need the assistance of an attorney.
DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
Yes, if you were a co-owner of the vehicle and the collision occurred in the State of Florida.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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The dangerous instrumentality doctrine applies to ultimately hold liable the owners of a vehicle that is negligently maintained or operated that causes damages to someone's person or property. When it's not the owner that negligently drives the car, the usual first loophole you try to jump through is that the driver was not given permission to drive by the owner. I presume that you permitted him to use the car because you seem surprised and offended that he let the insurance lapse. But, under the circumstances, you weren't given the opportunity to give permission to drive your uninsured car. That might be your best argument against personal liability.
Please visit our website at www.411FlaLaw.com and watch our video. It is an eye-opener to most people who have no idea how much Planning they can actually do in their Estate Plans. If interested, contact us to inquire about special low cost monthly financing of your estate planning fee. You may be very surprised at how affordable a comprehensive estate plan for your whole family can be. The above answers are not legal advice and should not be relied upon until you meet with an attorney and review all of your particular facts and circumstances. This forum does not create an attorney-client relationship.
You can be held liable if you were an owner of the car. It doesn't matter whether insurance was active. Consult an attorney to see if they can negotiate the claim brought against you. If not, you will have to answer the suit and defend it yourselves.
If you were listed on the vehicle's title or registration, then yes, because Florida is a dangerous instrumentality state. This is precisely why I don't loan my car to anyone and my wife and I keep our cars titled separately. That way, if she is at-fault for a loss in her car, no one can come after me, and if I am at-fault for a loss in my car, no one can come after her.
I am a Florida attorney who practices in the areas of personal injury, criminal defense, and civil rights. My answers on Avvo are not legal advice, and they do not create an attorney-client relationship. If you contact me--please understand that I cannot contact you--then I will carefully evaluate your case and determine if I will accept you as a client. Unless you and I sign a contract for legal representation, then I am not your attorney. Furthermore, Avvo is a limited forum and not well-suited for complex legal analysis. You should always obtain competent legal advice from attorneys who will carefully evaluate all your case's facts. Avvo isn't the place for that.
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