What is my liability if I sold a car to a car lot and the driver that it was re-sold to had an accident but I was still listed as the owner?

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What is my liability if I sold a car to a car lot and the driver that it was re-sold to had an accident but I was still listed as the owner?

I have a paper trail of the transaction – bill of sale, ad, deposit at bank, text messages and phone number. In our state the buyer is responsible for registration in 30 days. Then, 6 months later, the car was involved in an out of state accident; the driver was intoxicated. At least he had insurance in his name, which is goo since I cancelled my insurance right after I sold it. I am being sued for a huge amount for negligence through a long arm statute as the owner. I have never been in that state and feel that they shouldn’t be able to bring suit there. Also, can I object to long arm statute in case I have to appeal?

Asked on July 5, 2015 under Personal Injury, Oklahoma

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You should not be liable for the vehicle that you sold because you were no longer the owner.  However, before you start down that path, you raise an important issue regarding the long arm statute.  To invoke or object to your involvement in this suit, you usually have to raise this issue first.  If you simply file an appearance or a general answer and then raise the jurisdictional issue later, many courts will deem that you have waived that complaint.  So... you need to find an attorney to represent you in the state where the case is pending to file an objection to the long arm jurisdiction-- and then to challenge the merits of the complaint. 


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