But yes, a family member can sue another family member for negligence in Maryland. When I explain, you will see how this makes sense.
Maryland law used to prevent a family member covered by an insurance policy from suing another family member who caused an accident while driving.
So if a husband was driving and his wife was the passenger, and he ran a red light causing a car accident in which she was injured, she could not sue. A passenger not related to the driver could sue. The only thing different is the family relation of the driver and passenger.
The law was supposed to prevent unseemly lawsuits between family members. In my opinion, the real reason was to protect the insurance companies. They just didn’t want to pay their own insured.
In my example, there is one insurance policy covering the husband and wife. In the eyes of the insurance company, the wife should not be able to sue and get money from her own insurance policy.
Maryland changed this law a few years ago. Now, the wife in my example can sue her husband, but only up the amount of the available insurance coverage.
So the insurance policy has to pay out, but there is no chance of a judgment against the husband.
This makes sense. And it is fair. You should be able to get paid from an insurance policy that covers you if another party (even your own family member) is negligent. But by making sure the plaintiff is capped at the policy limits, there is no possibility of one family member getting a judgment against another that won’t be covered by insurance.
Conclusion & Next Steps
So yes, a child can sue his parent, but only up to the limits of available insurance coverage, which means it is really just going after insurance. That is what most car accident cases are anyway. This is a good law Maryland has.
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