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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 12206
Experience:  JD, MBA
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My minor son was involved in a fender bender, the other

Customer Question

My minor son was involved in a fender bender, the other party is claiming personal injury. If the claimant's suit is successful, and it exceeds the liability limit of my insurance, will my wife share in the liability? Under Colorado's "family car doctrine"
a liable parent must be the head of household, have control over the vehicle, the person driving must be a member of the household, and the vehicle must have been used with the parent’s express or implied permission. The car title is in my name (the husband),
I exercise control over it (not her), but she did imply permission. So, will she be party to the lawsuit, and share liability in any judgment?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.

Unfortunately, based upon the facts that you shared, both you and your wife are at risk of being sued. This is because the injured party would almost certainly sue you both (if a lawsuit is filed at all) since a plaintiff generally sues all parties who may have liability. Also, bear in mind that permission does not have to be in reference to a specific trip. If you allowed your son to drive the car in the past, then that may be considered implied permission. Similarly, your wife could be deemed to be in control of the car even if you generally dictate when it's driven. For example, if your wife had possession of the keys, then that may be deemed as having control over the car. In fact, the very idea that your wife may have given permission indicates that she exercised control over the vehicle. But the bot***** *****ne is that both of you are at risk if a lawsuit is filed. Accordingly, if a judgment is granted, then you would likely both be liable for the judgment.

I am truly sorry that my answer is bad news for you, but please understand that it would be unfair to you (and unprofessional of me) to provide you with anything less than an honest response. However, if your concerns were not satisfactorily addressed, then please let me know, and I will be happy to clarify my answer.

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. I didn't hear back from you, so I'm just checking in to make sure that you don't need more help on this issue. If not, then please remember to provide a positive rating to close out this question (and please remember that your positive rating is the only way that I'll get credit for helping you, so I greatly appreciate it). Thank you!