looking for a little perspective/advice...
A family member was in a car accident this week that totaled hir car and damaged the other car. This family member (lets call zie Pat) didn't have any insurance (ugh) and was sited $500 and found responsible for the accident. The problem is that Pat is going to get married soon and I'm wondering if the house that is in hir partner's name is at risk if the insurance company comes after Pat after the wedding.
I've had some experience with how long a claim can go on, but I don't know how this could play out without insurance - anyone have any stories/advice?
I don't see how marriage brings liability to the partner's house. Just keep it separately titled. Spouses aren't liable for each other's actions (unless something is jointly titled/loaned), and in this case the liability even pre-dated the marriage.
Phew. I think that Pat needs to talk to a local lawyer since this could easily become a financial nightmare, but I imagine if Pat didn't have the money for insurance, it will be tough to convince hir to spend the money on a lawyer...
Actually, spousal liability depends on the state's property laws. In my state, spouses are liable for the other spouse's actions if the liability is incurred during the marriage. The type of property (i.e. property brought into a marriage vs. property acquired during the marriage) that gets applied to the liability varies. But I file suit against "Joe Schmo individually and the marital community of Joe Schmo and Jane Doe Schmo" all the time, even when Jane Doe had nothing to do with the actions. It's just a way of getting to all the assets. Might not matter here since the accident occurred pre-marriage, but it's worth getting state-specific information.
The short version is, Pat's gonna need a lawyer. A reputable one will do a consultation and tell Pat whether it's worth hir money to retain them longterm, or whether they're just as screwed with a lawyer as without.
And I hope Pat is now shopping for coverage.