Legal Question in Personal Injury in California


I loaned my car to a friend, he in turn took his girlfriend out to teach her to drive. The girlfriend while learning to drive, ran over the foot of a young boy who was running through the parking lot and ran in front of the car. My question is what fault lies on myself as the owner of the vehicle. I loaned the car to my friend, not his girlfriend, and I was unaware that my friend would be giving driving leassons to his girlfriend in the parking lot. The Complaint by the Plaintiff joins myself and the girlfriend as defendents. The complaint states know actual facts as to the issue at hand. It simply states by proof of evidence at trial. I would think I could write a motion to dismiss (for failure to show cause), but my ''free'' attorney filed a general denial, with affirmative defenses attached. I am now trying to handle this myself. Second question; is it to late to file a motion to dismiss (for mis-joinder, or failure to show against myself), as the court has assigned an abitration date in December. My other thought was to move for summary judgement, as we are past the pre-trial conference stage.

Asked on 8/17/01, 7:35 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Robert Miller Robert L. Miller & Associates, A Law Corporation

Re: Negligence

Thanks for your posting. Although there is no such thing as a motion to dismiss, a demurrer or a motion for summary judgment can serve the same purpose. If you've already answered, then it is too late to file a demurrer. A summary judgment motion is a good option. There is something you should know, however. California law requires someone suing for " automobile accident... you must name the registered owner, as well as the driver as a defendant in the action, if the driver is NOT the owner." Registered owners are required to be joined in the action. If you would like a summary judgment motion to be drafted for you, my office would be happy to draft just the motion, so that you wouldn't have to have the expense of an attorney handling your entire case. Thanks.

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Answered on 8/27/01, 12:20 pm
Lyle Johnson Bedi and Johnson Attorneys at Law

Re: Negligence

Notify the insurer of the vehicle of the circumstances. The insurer should defend.

If you did not have the car insured, you could notify you homeowner's or renter's insurance carrier. They may defend on the theory of negligenct entrustment of the vehicle.

It will cost you nothing to report it to these insurers. The worst that will happen is they will reject your claim.

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Answered on 8/27/01, 4:38 pm

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