Christopher Tidball, Author

THE ADJUSTER
Christopher Tidball
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PIP

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PIP

Can my wife get sued if I am driving her car?

Dear Adjuster,

My wife was telling me that I shouldn’t drive her car anymore. We don’t have any tickets or accidents but she said that if I am driving and have an accident we both could get sued. That doesn’t make any sense?

Jacksonville, Florida

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Dear Jacksonville,

Your wife is right In Florida, and some other jurisdictions, vicarious liability can apply to automobiles. If you are driving your wife’s car and cause an accident, you could be sued as the negligent driver and your wife could be sued as the owner. In my own situation, my car is solely in my name and my wife’s car is solely in her name. As for our children, as soon as they turned 18, their cars were placed solely in their name. If you have legal questions about this, you may want to consult with an attorney who can best share how to protect your assets.

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PIP

What is PIP? What is No Fault?

Dear Adjuster,

I recently had an accident and filed a claim for PIP benefits.   The company keeps referring to no-fault.  What is the difference between no-fault and PIP.

Confused

Dear Confused,

PIP and no-fault are often used interchangeably, but there is also a differentiation.  PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection and is a coverage mandated in 13 states.  No fault is a concept designed in the 1970’s to reduce litigation but having people file medical claims related to car crashes with their own insurance company.   Today, there is only one true no-fault state in the U.S., Michigan, whereby accident victims file both medical and collision claims with their own company.   In all PIP states there is recourse against an at fault party for injuries that exceed either a verbal or monetary threshold.

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