Public policy and common sense seek to protect relatives living in the same house from conflict. That is, after all, where the concept of spousal immunity comes into play in criminal cases. However, a car accident is not a criminal case and most often it is not the driver who was at fault for the crash who is responsible for paying damages. Instead, it is that driver’s car insurance company.
Accordingly, in many circumstances a passenger may sue the driver of the car who was at fault for the accident even if that driver is a household relative. As a passenger, the money that you may receive for your injuries is likely to come from the insurer. In that way, the payments benefit everyone in your household, including the driver whom you are suing, because your household no longer has to bear the economic burden of your accident related expenses.
However, it is important for you to check your insurance policy to see if there are any intra-family exclusions created by the insurance contract that could limit your potential recovery.
If you know someone who is hesitant to sue a family member after a car accident, please share this post with that person so that he or she can learn more about why filing a lawsuit may not be so bad for family harmony.