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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 9 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.

 


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