What to do if I recently sold a car but made the mistake of not keeping my plates and received a letter saying that it was towed from a road where it had been in an accident?

I don’t have details of the report but it seems that the buyer I sold to didn’t change the car to his name and probably had my plates. This being the case, am I at fault for the accident or liable for anything? Should I worry about this even though I had nothing to do with the incident? I sold the car this year and it was towed a month later. I filled the transfer notification around a week ago when I received the letter from the towing company letting me know of all this mess. What can I do now?

Asked on April 12, 2015 under Accident Law, Texas


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you are liable for the accident because you are still listed as the registered owner of the vehicle if title was not transferred to the buyer.

If the driver was at fault in the accident, you are liable for the property damage (cost of repairs) to the other vehicle that was not at fault in the accident.  You are also liable for the personal injury claims of the occupants of the other vehicle that was not at fault in the accident.  The personal injury claims include compensation for the medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering (an amount in addition to the medical bills), and compensation for wage loss.

If you had a witness to the sale of your car, who signs a declaration under penalty of perjury or if the buyer of your car signs a declaration under penalty of perjury that he/she purchased the car from you on________ (date), that may help you to refute the claim that you are liable for the accident.  If you have any documents pertaining to the sale of your car, those documents may also help you refute the claim that you are still the owner of the car.   

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