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Learn About the Family Car Doctrine and Vicarious Liability

Posted by: Chad Hemmat | Friday, March 20, 2015 | 0 Comments | Back to Personal Injury Blog

teenager car accidentI'd like you to think about a very reckless 19 year old. I'd like you to think about him living in a beautiful house right up against the golf course in Castle Pines. He lives with his parents. It's a $2.7 million house. There are outside of that house five beautiful brand new German model vehicle's. There is one older vehicle that reckless kid gets to drive, but they're all owned by the dad.

When the reckless kid gets into a car accident with his separately insured car, are you limited to the insurance coverage of that car and maybe whatever personal assets this 19 year old personally has himself? The answer is no, and the better answer is family car doctrine. Understand that the law would under normal circumstances say if that vehicle has insurance and that person is driving and that person's a kid and doesn't have anything, often times that's it. The coverage that you're going to get from that insurance is going to be everything.

Family car doctrine would say that if he's the head of the household, he owns all these vehicles, and the son was acting as a member of the household using the vehicle for any sort of family-related purpose at the time of the auto accident, then he personally, the head of the household, can be held liable, which means you can implicate all of the insurances on all of those beautiful foreign vehicles, and you can implicate maybe additional insurance that may have come from umbrella coverage on the house, and frankly you can implicate his own personal assets because that's what the family car doctrine does. It's what we call vicarious liability. You need to understand family car doctrine or at least hire an attorney who understands the use of the family car doctrine in the right situation.

For more information, contact us at 303-782-9999, or submit a Free Personal Injury Case Evaluation today.



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