can i be charged with a hit and run if i was never the legal owner of a car and wasnt even present?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 23, 2013

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Insurance Question from Apple Valley, CA

Asked on 02/23/2013

can i be charged with a hit and run if i was never the legal owner of a car and wasnt even present? i am constantly being contacted by an ins company saying i was the driver in a hit and run. i have no idea what they are talking about...i bought a car from someone and turned around and sold it 3 days later. without even regestering it in my name. so apparently who i sold it to hit someone...i dont have a bill of sale showing when i sold it...but the car was never in my name in the first place...why should i be held responsible?

Answer given on October 31, 2013

If you owned a car that you immediately sold and never had the car registered in your name, the insurance company would be hard pressed to claim you were responsible for an accident. You could help the insurance company by providing the name and any additional information you have on the person who you sold the car to. Even if you don’t have the date of sale, you can give the insurance company what information you have. This may appease them and they will go after the other party.The insurance company may have gotten your information from the person who sold you the car. They may have sent a form to DMV saying they sold the car and provided your information. You never registered the car and never reported it sold, so that would be the last name on the trail of registration. If you signed the registration form over to the new owner, then if the insurance company can get the registration form, it would prove that you sold the car. However, until they find the current owner that may be difficult.

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