Is the parent of a 23 year old be liable for the medical expenses of a person injured in an accident, if the child is on their insurance and driving their car?

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Is the parent of a 23 year old be liable for the medical expenses of a person injured in an accident, if the child is on their insurance and driving their car?

My 23 year old daughter hit another car in the rear on the interstate. She is in graduate school. She is covered under our insurance policy. Our company paid the man she hit the limit of our liability for medical purposes. He claimed an additional $150,000 from his own insurance and now they want us to pay this amount. Can they hold my husband and I liable for her accident since the car was in my name as was the insurance? Also, she has no job and is currently in school. What do they expect her to pay?

Asked on June 9, 2012 under Accident Law, Georgia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you are liable for the accident because you are the registered owner of the vehicle your daughter was driving.  If you had not been the registered owner of the vehicle, you would not he liable for the accident because your daughter is an adult at age 23 and would have been solely liable for the accident.

In a lawsuit filed against your daughter, she is judgment proof at this time because she is a student and is not employed.

If the injured party eventually obtains a court judgment against you, you and your husband might want to consider filing bankruptcy if you can't afford to pay the judgment.  Depending on your income and other factors, you may be eligible to file Chapter 7 which is straight liquidation that eliminates that debt.  If you are not eligible to file Chapter 7, you can file Chapter 13; however, Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires a plan (budget) for repayment of creditors.  Until there is a court judgment against you, it would be premature to file bankruptcy.


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