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I used to own a Contracting business in NY that was incorporated. Three

I used to own a...
I used to own a Contracting business in NY that was incorporated.
Three years ago my nephew was driving a company owned and insured vehicle and rear ended a car on the parkway.
.
Police were called and responded to the scene. The other party involved refused medical treatment.
I believe that my insurance Co. paid him for vehicle damages.

Almost three years to the day later, I receive notice that he is suing my corporation, and the driver of my vehicle.

They don't mention a $$ amount,.

Since the accident and the present time, my corporation has been out of business.

We closed the corp. and it is now listed as an inactive corp. with new York state.

What is my liability? what's my next move? how should my nephew respond?

Thank You
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Answered in 1 minute by:
8/15/2013
CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,244
Experience: Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
Verified

William B. Esq. :

Dear Customer, thank you for choosing Just Answer. I would like to assist you today.

William B. Esq. :

The first thing you should do if the claim for the incident has already been made to your corporation's insurance company, is to "tender" the new lawsuit to the insurance company as quickly as possible. You have an obligation to notify the insurance company of the new claim and provide them with enough time to respond.

William B. Esq. :

The insurance company should take care of responding to the claim and representing both the now inactive corporation, and its employee (your nephew).

Customer:

That's great, I will have to check with my insurance broker.

Customer:

Does that mean that my nephew is totally, "off the hook" , for any liabialty?

William B. Esq. :

No, but in most cases, the insurance company has sufficient reserves to settle the matter on behalf of the employee. (let me explain)

William B. Esq. :

The employee is still individually liable for their own negligence (the car accident), but the employer is responsible for the torts of its employee during the course and scope of their employment (driving the company van), usually a tort plaintiff will go after the company because they have more resources and insurance than the driver/employee.

William B. Esq. :

Almost all plaintiffs will sue both, as there is "joint and several" liability, it doesn't matter who pays the judgment, both parties are equally responsible for the debt. This means that in most cases, the employer (or their insurance) ends up paying for the full amount of the liability or settlement.

Customer:

In the worse case scenario, can they put a judgment on my nephew?

William B. Esq. :

Yes, it is possible. But it is usually a lot easier to settle with the business or its insurer, so it usually does not come to this.

Customer:

Thank You very much

CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
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Satisfied Customers: 10,244
Experience: Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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