Should I change my legal address to avoid parents being sued?

UPDATED: Feb 1, 2012

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Should I change my legal address to avoid parents being sued?

I live in an apartment but my address on my driver’s license and most documents still lists my parent’s house. I have personal liability insurance and my own car insurance. I’m 30, and self-sufficient, I just haven’t changed my address because I don’t know how long I’ll be here or where I’ll move next. Can they be held legally liable if someone sues me since my residence is still there? I’ve been told this but it doesn’t make any sense. Could someone sue anyone I happened to be living with just because my driver’s license said so? Is there any other reason to change my official address?

Asked on February 1, 2012 under Accident Law, Michigan


L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding parties to a lawsuit and whether you should change your legal address to avoid your parents being a part of a lawsuit.  First you should be aware that naming parties to a lawsuit can depend on your state laws and can also depend on the type of lawsuit that you could be involved with. 

Generally speaking, a legal judgment will only attach to your property.  If you do not have any legal ownership to your parents’ home, then someone could not attach a legal judgment against you to your parents’ home in a lawsuit.  If you use your parents’ home as a mailing address, it is simply that, a mailing address.  This does not mean that you own your parents’ home.  It may for a moment may have an attorney believe that you potentially own a piece of real property, but a simple title search would show who has legal title to the home, and your parents’ names would appear on the title search.  Your name would not appear on the title or the deed simply because you have used their address on your driver’s license. 

An instance where your parents could be involved in a lawsuit where you were involved would be if you were a driver on their car insurance, and you caused a serious motor vehicle accident to occur.  The injured party could sue both the driver and the owner of the vehicle.  Another example would be if you had guests over at your parents’ house and someone was injured from a danger at their home, then they may be able to sue you and your parents.  However, both of these examples do not include what address is listed on your driver’s license.  If you have further questions, you could always contact your liability carrier or their attorneys.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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