I let a person who lives in my home drive a vehicle in my name. They got in an accident and the person they hit is suing for personal injury and possibly pain and suffering. My insurance only covers $20,000 and I want to know if they are awarded more than that can they sue me personally and come after my home. The person I let drive the vehicle was on my insurance as the driver of the vehicle.
Yes, as you are the owner of the vehicle you can be sued as well as the driver with permission. If the damages which are awarded are beyond the amount of money which you have purchased coverage for your other assets are at risk, including the house depending upon how it is titled and to whom.
To the PROSPECTIVE client, please call with more details, and for an appointment. My PRELIMINARY answer to your question(s) is for general purposes and based upon the information you have conveyed. It is based on such limited information that it is a general answer, and should not be relied upon as a reason for your action or inaction. My response does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship and such may only be established by mutual agreement, and the signing of a written retainer agreement, which will generally require payment for our services, as this is what we do for a living and, just like you, we must get paid for our work.
Be prepared for a negligence action. You are responsible for entrusting an individual with the use of your car, and if he is found to be more than 50% at fault, you will be liable as well as the owner.
Yes, you can be sued as the owner, but your insurance will also pay for an attorney to defend you and the driver, and they are obligated to act in good faith, meaning they should have your best interests in mind if it appears that settling within the 20K policy limits would protect you from an excess verdict. Your personal exposure is possible, but it honestly does not happen very often. Cooperate with your insurance and the attorneys they hire for you. That will be your best bet.
Responses are for general use only and have not been researched with any specificity. No lawyer-client relationship has been formed by this response. You should contact a lawyer and speak with him or her directly for any further inquiries you may have.
Yes, both the owner and driver can be held liable for any damage the driver causes while driving a vehicle with the owner's permission.
Let your insurance company handle this for now and keep in touch with them regarding the total amount of damages claimed by the other party.
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