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Can I go after the car owner's insurance for payment of judgment?

Cincinnati, OH |

I was involved in a car accident. It was the other person's fault. I sued the other driver and got a judgment in my favor. The driver was driving her relative's car at the time of the accident and the car was insured under her relative's name. The driver did not have her own insurance. Since now I have a judgment against the driver, can I sue the insurance company that the car was insured under to recover the judgment I was awarded in court?

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Attorney answers 7


These are complicated issues,. You should contact the attorney who won you the judgment and discuss them with him. Best of luck to you.

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It may be possible to collect from the insurance company, but as other counsel indicated, these are complicated issues. Did you have an attorney for the suit? Has he explained to you why he hasn't been able to collect from the insurance company? I'd be willing to take a look at this for you, but I'd first like to know why prior counsel was unsuccessful.



I did not hire an attorney because the car damage was for a few thousand dollars. The judgment I won was for $4,500. I am just trying to figure out who would be responsible for paying me the judgment. The driver admitted in court that she was a "permissive" driver.


I would agree you should contact an attorney to review the best means of collecting on the judgment. If you had insurance, I would suggest having your insurance pay for the damages.


You would want to contact one of the above lawyers to look into this.


This is a complicated question that would require a thorough examination of the insurance policy at issue. Typically a policy will only cover listed drivers. It's very possible that the relative was not listed on the policy and therefore an exclusion would prevent coverage of your damages. In such a situation, the only way to recover against the owner's policy would be under a negligent entrustment theory. For instance, if the relative had a suspended license it would be negligent for the owner to let her borrow the car. I would find an experienced Cincinnati area injury lawyer to examine these issues.


Your judgment is against the dirver, not the insurance company, so you cannot sue the insurance company. Generally the operator of someone elses motor vehicle will be insured by the owners policy unless there is an exclusion that precludes coverage, such as operating hte vehicle without permission.

You may contact the insurance company directly and see if they will pay the judgment. If not your recourse will be to garnish or foreclose on the operator.

The operator may have a claim against the insurer if they do not pay and with experienced counsel you might be able to get an assignment of his claim against the insurer and sue them. It all depends on a multitude of facts which are not disclosed in your question.


You might be able to get the insurance company to pay but we need more information. You can get the other driver's license suspended for failing to have the appropriate financial responsibility. This can sometimes get the other side to find money they could not get beforehand. Contact the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles for more information.

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