a3Washington, D.C.-Congressman Paul Ryan and his chief of staff Kevin Seifert have both been named in a personal injury lawsuit which alleges they were negligent
NBC Washington reports that Seifert, who was on official business at the time, rear-ended a vehicle on I-395 in February 2014. The two passengers in the struck Adan Cajas and Santos Perez suffered injuries, including a concussion and nausea, and are seeking $100,000 in compensation.
The lawsuit alleges Seifert was negligent in that he failed to keep a safe distance and maintain a safe speed, according to NBC Washington.
Rep. Ryan was not in the car at the time, but he owned the car. The Justice Department, which represents lawmakers in the situations like this, is asking a judge to dismiss the case on the grounds that the plaintiffs did not “exhaust” the remedial actions available to them.
You may be asking: Why is Rep. Ryan named in the lawsuit? He wasn’t even in the car, how could he be negligent?
This is a good opportunity to talk about accident liability when someone else is driving your car. When we get insurance on a vehicle it covers and follows that vehicle, even when you are not behind the wheel. That means if your friend of family member borrows your car and gets into an accident, the law sees you as partly responsible.
Your insurance is considered the primary coverage and the driver’s insurance is considered secondary coverage. That means both of you may have to pay for damages incurred in a traffic accident. For instance, your insurance company may pay any settlement amounts up to your maximum coverage, any amounts above that may come out of your friends insurance.
If the person borrowing your car is uninsured and gets into an accident, then you will be entirely liable for any injuries or property damage that result. Should your insurance coverage be exhausted, then he accident victims can sue you for compensation. So, before you loan out your car to a friend or family member, make certain they have insurance with adequate coverage.
When an accident isn’t your loved one’s fault, your insurance won’t take a hit unless the at-fault motorist is uninsured. The at-fault driver will have cover any damages or injuries.
If your car was stolen, you are not considered liable for any damages. However, if a friend uses your car without permission and causes a wreck, you may be liable for damages beyond their maximum insurance coverage.
Our accident attorneys suggest that before you allow anyone to borrow your vehicle, you should go over the terms of your auto insurance carefully to make certain you have the right coverage in the event of an accident. You want to ensure that you aren’t forced to pay for someone else’s reckless actions.
Liability in car accidents can be confusing so if you find yourself in any of the above situations, or have been involved in an accident yourself, reach out to an accident attorney to discuss your case.

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