If my adult son took my car without my authorization or knowledge and was in an at fault accident, how do I protect my assets?

The other vehicle involved was a van and there were 5 elderly occupants. They were seen at the hospital complaining of head and neck pain. My son was not an insured driver and I don’t have a large policy, so I am in fear any of the people in the van could sue me and take my home. I did file an unauthorized use of vehicle report with my local police dept. Should I consider signing my property over to my oldest son, who’s executor of my estate, to keep it out of any possible lawsuits? I am on social security disability but my small home was purchased with money I received from my divorce last year.

Asked on February 23, 2015 under Personal Injury, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can't really protect your assets after an accident, since if you are sued and the other side have even halfway-competent lawyers, they'l find out about the transfer(s) and have them set aside as fraudulent conveyances designed to defraud creditors. And if you sign it over to your son, you no longer own it--so he could, for example, mortgage, sell, etc. it no matter what you want.

Better would be to file bankruptcy IF you are sued and IF you end up having to pay alot more than you could afford.


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