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In Washington state can we sue the owner of uninsured truck driven by her 44 year old son w/ suspended license?

Friday Harbor, WA |

Driver (here called Anon) had suspended license for DUI five months before. He failed to stop at stop sign and hit my son's VW bus. No injury but my son's VW bus was later rendered unsafe to drive; he eventually had to buy another used vehicle. Anon gave my son verbal promise to pay initial repair costs of $1,500, but strung him along with no payment for four months. Anon has long history of non-payment of debts and bankruptcy. Now it's time to go to small claims court. Can we also name the owner of the truck (the driver's mother) as a second or separate defendant?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer
Posted

Yes you can name the lega; and registerd owner as well as the driver and you should notify the department of licensing and the owner may have her license suspended until the damage is paid for if you get a judgment that will last ten years. Look at RCW 46.29.330 and
46.29.370 and make sure you cite the laws to the Judge, so he can properly format your judgment.
Good Luck

Only If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are provided for informational and/or novelty purposes

Keith G Langer

Keith G Langer

Posted

Of course you can sue. Whether you will ever collect from a defendant with a " long history of non-payment of debts and bankruptcy" is a separate issue.

Asker

Posted

Hello Shawn, Do you think I should name both the driver and the owner in the same claim? Also, is there a way to find out if the mother/owner of the truck has a driver's license? A related question: how would I find out if either the driver or the mother/owner has assets? They both have lived in Oregon and Washington. If the assets are out of state, is it a no go?

Posted

Yes, you can sue.

Good luck.

In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.

Posted

I agree with my colleagues. You can sue the owner.

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

Posted

I agree with my colleagues and would add that one of your legal theories will be "negligent entrustment." In other words, Anon's mother may have known that he had a suspended license and a history of DUI, but still let him drive her car. You can find out what she says about that at court. You can also find out a little bit of Anon's court history at http://dw.courts.wa.gov/. Best of luck.

DISCLAIMER: This information is for general information purposes only. Nothing stated above should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.