Ocala, FL asked in Personal Injury, Car Accidents and Civil Litigation for Florida

Q: Do I file answer with all of my financials or call Morgan and Morgan and let them know I don’t own the car anymore?

Out of nowhere while visiting with family the other day, I was served with a summons for a vehicle crash my ex wife was involved in. Shocking as I moved several states away a couple months ago and was back in town at extended family’s residence visiting for the weekend and BBQ. We are divorced and the crash occurred two years after we were divorced. She got the car in the divorce and refinanced it into her name. I was able to get a copy of the crash report that lists me as the vehicle owner, not sure why that is. It looks like she has Progressive insurance, but I do not have insurance on the car as I no longer own it. The vehicle was never solely in my name and as stated above she refinanced it after getting it in the divorce. The summons stated I am vicariously liable for allowing her to drive the car and it wants me to reply with a lot of information including all of my financials. I have no idea what to do!

2 Lawyer Answers
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: DO NOT CALL MORGAN & MORGAN. There are more than enough scary facts presented here to warrant you looking for and hiring a lawyer right away. It appears that the crash report identifying you as the owner is the main cause for concern; however, people being sued under the theory of vicarious liability may not be able to avoid SOME of the liability--without the help of an experienced insurance defense lawyer. Living out of state is irrelevant.

Charles M. Baron agrees with this answer

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: I agree with Mr. Minnick and would add that it is the insurance policy that was in effect ON THE DATE OF THE ACCIDENT that matters, not what insurance you have now. So if you had liability coverage at that time for that vehicle, that insurance company must give you a FREE ATTORNEY TO DEFEND YOU. Whatever the case may be, do not, under any circumstances, let the 20-day deadline to respond to the complaint go by without filing something.

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