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What is the Family Car Doctrine?

In Washington, the Family Car Doctrine asserts that liability for injuries or death resulting from car accident may be extended to a family member of the at-fault driver if the car is owned and/or maintained by that family member. This most commonly applies to parents and their driving age children.

When Does the Family Car Doctrine Apply?

The determination of whether to invoke the family car doctrine is left to the judge, jury or arbitrator of the case. There are several factors they take into consideration, including:

  • The registered owner of the vehicle, whose name is on the vehicle's title;
  • Who initially paid for or continues to pay for the vehicle;
  • The intention of the family member in question.

How Does the Family Car Doctrine Help Accident Victims?

If you are the victim of an accident and the court decides to apply the family car doctrine in your case, your recovery options could be expanded to policies that the parent, guardian, or family member may have.

For more information about the family car doctrine or if you need to speak to a Washington car accident attorney, the legal team at Davis Law Group is here to help, offering free case evaluations for accident victims and their families. 

To request your free case evaluation dial 206-727-4000 or use the chat or contact options on this page. 

Chris Davis
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Chris Davis is the founder of Davis Law Group, P.S. in Seattle, WA.