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  1. #1
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    Sep 2015
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    Angry Sued for a Car Accident With My Car When I Wasn't Driving

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Maryland

    The short history is that my dad borrowed my car and got involved in a car accident with a public bus. Over a year later, I'm getting sued because one of the passengers in the bus claims he sustained injures due to the car accident.

    According to my dad he was on a two lane road. I think he was on the left lane (not completely sure) and then he tried to enter a building on the right hand side of the road. He was half way into the parking lot when the bus that was coming on the right lane sped up and hit him on the rear right of the car. The car suffered some bumper damage but it wasn't any major damage (the bumper didn't even fall off). My dad didn't have his cell phone with him so he couldn't call the police. When he asked the bus driver to call the police, the driver refused to do so.

    The bus company says they have a video that shows my dad is at fault. I requested a copy of the video and was denied. My insurance company says they did their own investigation and they determined my dad wasn't at fault (However they refused to cover the car repairs on my car, so I ended up paying out of pocket for the repairs).

    There is now a lawsuit against me (since I'm the car owner) and the "injured" person wants $15,000 from the insurance company.

    Based on the facts, can my dad argue that he wasn't at fault because there was plenty of room between him and the bus when he made the turn? Or does the fact that he potentially made the turn from the left lane makes him automatically guilty? Will this damage my driving/personal records because there's a lawsuit against me even though I wasn't even in the car when the accident happened?

    What should I do?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    16,877

    Default Re: Sued for Car Accident on My Car. I Wasn't Driving

    Quote Quoting Jordie
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    they refused to cover the car repairs on my car, so I ended up paying out of pocket for the repairs).
    Why did your insurance company refuse to pay for the damage to your car? Was it maybe because the damage was less than your deductible? If so, that's not a refusal, so don't go making it sound like your insurance company is doing bad things to you.

    Quote Quoting Jordie
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    There is now a lawsuit against me (since I'm the car owner) and the "injured" person wants $15,000 from the insurance company.
    Have you been served with a summons and complaint? Or just a demand letter? Presumably you have turned either over to your insurance company for handling. Did you?

    Quote Quoting Jordie
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    Based on the facts, can my dad argue that he wasn't at fault because there was plenty of room between him and the bus when he made the turn? Or does the fact that he potentially made the turn from the left lane makes him automatically guilty?
    He can argue anything he wants, but if he made a right turn in front of a moving bus he could very well be at fault.

    Quote Quoting Jordie
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    Will this damage my driving/personal records because there's a lawsuit against me even though I wasn't even in the car when the accident happened?
    It won't go on your DMV record but if your insurance company pays your policy will be surcharged for a few years because an insured driver was at fault even though you weren't the driver.

    Quote Quoting Jordie
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    What should I do?
    Nothing. Let your insurance company handle it. Your insurance company owes you a defense under the terms of your policy.

    If you want further discussion, read the complaint and then come back and quote word for word the part where they say why they are suing you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Default Re: Sued for a Car Accident With My Car When I Wasn't Driving

    Quote Quoting Jordie
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    The short history is that my dad borrowed my car and got involved in a car accident with a public bus. Over a year later, I'm getting sued because one of the passengers in the bus claims he sustained injures due to the car accident.
    The reason is that you're the insured party, not your father.

    Quote Quoting Jordie
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    According to my dad he was on a two lane road. I think he was on the left lane (not completely sure) and then he tried to enter a building on the right hand side of the road.
    You need to know the correct facts before an answer can be given to you.

    If your father was in the right lane making a right hand turn into a driveway, he would be 100% not at fault

    If your father was in the left lane making a right hand turn into a driveway, he may be 100% at-fault. So get your facts straight and tell us.

    Quote Quoting Jordie
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    He was half way into the parking lot when the bus that was coming on the right lane sped up and hit him on the rear right of the car.
    I don't believe what your father told you could be correct at all. There is no way that a driver would just speed up and hit someone from behind, that could be an assault charge filed against that driver if that were true.

    What typically happens in a situation like this is that the vehicle (your father) making a right turn from a left lane cuts the vehicle (the bus) off that is in the right lane and the vehicle in the right lane has no time to react to hitting the brake pedal in time causing a rear-end collision, or the vehicle in the right lane doesn't have enough braking room to avoid a rear-end collision.

    Quote Quoting Jordie
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    The car suffered some bumper damage but it wasn't any major damage (the bumper didn't even fall off). My dad didn't have his cell phone with him so he couldn't call the police. When he asked the bus driver to call the police, the driver refused to do so.
    Maybe the bus driver forgot his cell phone also?

    Quote Quoting Jordie
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    The bus company says they have a video that shows my dad is at fault. I requested a copy of the video and was denied.
    Typically a video wouldn't be released without a subpoena or court order.

    Quote Quoting Jordie
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    My insurance company says they did their own investigation and they determined my dad wasn't at fault (However they refused to cover the car repairs on my car, so I ended up paying out of pocket for the repairs).
    If you hold full coverage, the claim wouldn't have been denied or you didn't meet your deductabile. If you hold just liability and you're denied money to have your car repaired from the other party's insurance company, then your father is at-fault.

    Quote Quoting Jordie
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    There is now a lawsuit against me (since I'm the car owner) and the "injured" person wants $15,000 from the insurance company.
    Let your insurance company do the job that you pay them for.

    Quote Quoting Jordie
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    Based on the facts, can my dad argue that he wasn't at fault because there was plenty of room between him and the bus when he made the turn?
    No, if there was plenty of room the bus wouldn't have hit your father.

    A bus could weigh anywhere from 30,000 to 45,000 pounds. That bus needs a lot of room to come to a stop, it's not a Volkwagon.

    Quote Quoting Jordie
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    Or does the fact that he potentially made the turn from the left lane makes him automatically guilty?
    Yes, if not 100%, it would be pretty close to it.


    Quote Quoting Jordie
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    ill this damage my driving/personal records because there's a lawsuit against me even though I wasn't even in the car when the accident happened?
    Yes and No. If you're successfully sued, a judgment can affect your credit history. And it will affect your insurance policy.

    Quote Quoting Jordie
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    What should I do?
    Start by telling your father rules of the road and to be much more careful when driving.

    Then let your insurance company handle the lawsuit for you.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.......

  4. #4
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    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Sued for a Car Accident With My Car When I Wasn't Driving

    Quote Quoting Who'sThatGuy
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    The reason is that you're the insured party, not your father.
    It is who was neligent that determines who gets sued, not who had the insurance policy. Thus, it should be the driver, the father, who is sued because he is the one who was allegedly negligent. However, he is covered by the insurance and the insurance company will provide a defense for this and pay any claim if the father is found negligent, up to the limits of the policy.

    There are some legal principles in some states in which an owner of the car may also be liable for the accident in some circumstances in addition to the negligent driver. For example, if the owner of a car allows someone he or she knows to unfit to drive safely for whatever reason, e.g. the person is intoxicated, unlicensed, etc., then the owner might be liable under a doctrine of negligent entrustment. The owner is also liable if the driver was the agent of the owner at the time of the accident (the most common example being an employee driving an employer’s vehicle while on company business). But we have no facts to indicate that any of those sorts of doctrines apply in this case. A few states and DC provide by statute that the owner is always liable along with the negligent driver for injuries caused when the driver had permission to use the car, but Maryland is not one of those jurisdictions.

    Bottom line, though, is that who carries the insurance doesn’t matter in determining who may be sued for the accident.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: Sued for a Car Accident With My Car When I Wasn't Driving

    Quote Quoting Jordie
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    What should I do?

    Thanks!
    notify your insurance company that you have been sued, they have an obligation to defend you and a $15,000 incentive to do so effectively.

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