Spousal Recovery for Auto Accident Injuries

Authored by , LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

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Can Spouses Bring An Action Against Each Other For Personal Injuries?

During marriage, personal injury lawsuits generally cannot be maintained by one spouse against the other. Such actions are referred to as interspousal torts and are barred by the doctrine of interspousal immunity. A majority of states, however, have provided exceptions to this doctrine for actions based on negligent operation of a motor vehicle (auto accidents). To establish a valid negligence claim, you must prove the traditional elements of duty, breach, causation, and damages.

Does It Matter Whether Or Not We Have The Same Insurance Carrier?

Yes. If you and your spouse have different insurance carriers, then it is more likely that your state will allow interspousal lawsuits.  You should be cautious with such a claim, because insurers have been known to insert clauses in their insurance policies that prohibit one family member for recovering damages from another from the same company. Although some states have invalidated such clauses, you will still have a better chance of recovering damages if you and your spouse have different carriers.

Do I Need An Attorney If I Wish To Sue My Spouse For Negligent Operation Of a Motor Vehicle?

As with all actions for personal injuries, an attorney experienced in personal injury cases will be able to advise you of the laws concerning your matter and represent your side.

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Last Modified: 08-23-2011 11:20 AM PDT

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