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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33914
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I'm being sued damage due to a DUI accident. I

Customer Question

I'm being sued for property damage due to a DUI accident. I was in an "uninsured" rental car at the time (I thought VISA would cover me). The owner of the rental company has already paid out $1,900 on a $9,100 claim and the insurance company is now coming after me for the rest of the sum.
However, the rental company owner, while not mentioned on the first page of the lawsuit, is listed as a defendant in the paperwork. My question is this: Do I have a defense that this is really for the owners of the rental company to pay, and that they have already admitted they owe this money by paying part of the claim?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. No, to both of those questions. The owner of a vehicle can be liable for the damages in a wreck either due to their own negligence if, for example, they loaned/rented a car to someone when the car was dangerous due to it condition, like if it had defective brakes. However, in a case like yours they would be liable under different theories, the main one being that they are required to make sure proper liability insurance is in place to provide coverage to parties injured by the negligence of the driver of their vehicle. In cases like that they would be "jointly and severally liable" along with you. That doesn't relieve you of any liability and if you were DUI then they would likely get a judgment against you for the amount they have to pay out.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Does that mean Plaintiff in this case would get a judgement both against the owner of the rental company, and myself? And, if so, what happens next (I'm pretty much judgement proof)?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, what is most likely is the Plaintiff would get a judgment that was "joint and several" against both of you and the other defendant would get a judgment against just you. When a judgment is joint and several then the Plaintiff can collect all of it from any party or a combination of the parties. If you're judgment proof then the judgment would just sit out there accumulating interest until it expires some years from now.