In a recent blog post, about a possible airbag lawsuit, I began addressing some questions from a mother who had a single-car accident with her husband and child as passengers. Since no other vehicles were involved, one question this family had was: “Could the husband sue the wife and her insurance company because she was driving?”


Let me explain the legal difficulties with this issue.

First, while New York does permit one spouse to sue the other, most NY insurance companies specifically exclude liability coverage for actions between spouses. You would need to check your auto policy to see what it says.

TIP: I strongly recommend to my clients that they request – and pay the extra premium for – spousal coverage. That additional premium is very small and it provides you with very important coverage if your spouse screws up while driving.

Second, unless you suffer a serious injury (see our FAQ about the definition of serious injury) New York does not permit you to bring a lawsuit after a car accident. I explain this issue in more detail in my blog post about serious injury.

It may take some time for the full extent of injuries to be apparent, so do not be hasty in making decisions. However, remember the following:

TIP: The New York State time limit in bringing an injury case is 3 years from the date of the accident. In Pennsylvania, the limit is 2 years.

Please feel free to e-mail me with questions about the legal issues surrounding car accidents and personal injury cases. And keep checking the NY Injury Law Blog for more information about these complex topics.

Thanks for reading,

James B. Reed, Esq.
Personal Injury & Malpractice Attorney
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866 Fax. (607) 732-6062
Toll Free 1-800-943-3529