If a person puts their sister’s car in their name because the sister does not have a license and the sister gets in an accident, how much trouble can that person get in?

Also, there is no insurance on the vehicle.

Asked on March 1, 2013 under Accident Law, Ohio


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If your sister was at fault in the accident, you as the registered owner of the vehicle are liable for the accident.  The registered owner's liability would include property damage (cost of repairs) to the other vehicle and liability for the personal injury claims of the occupants of the other vehicle.  Liability for personal injury would include the medical bills, pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills, and wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills based on the medical reports which document the nature and extent of the injuries.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

Since there wasn't any insurance on the vehicle driven by the sister, the registered owner will be sued for negligence and will be liable as stated above for the property damage and personal injury claims of the party who was not at fault in the accident.

If your sister was NOT at fault in the accident, then the above information does not apply and you as the registered owner would have a claim for property damage against the other driver's (at-fault party's) insurance carrier.  If your sister was injured in the accident and was not at fault in the accident, she would have a personal injury claim for medical bills, pain and suffering, and wage loss to be filed with the at-fault party's insurance carrier.  If the at-fault party does NOT have insurance, you and your sister would sue the at-fault party for negligence based on property damage and personal injury as discussed above.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.