Can a co-signer ona carlease be held liable in the event of an accident?

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Can a co-signer ona carlease be held liable in the event of an accident?

I want to lease a car for my fiance but the title, registration, and insurance will all be in her name. I will be making all payments on the car but she will be the only one driving. If there is an accident can I be sued by the parties involved?

Asked on May 19, 2011 under Accident Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you are not an owner of the vehicle (e.g. you are not on the title), then you are not resonsible for traffice accidents, traffic tickets, parking tickets, etc. Your own responsibility in the law is for the payment of the loan, such as if the other signor does not make payments.

That's under the law. As a practical matter, it's not unlikely that you will be initially named in a lawsuit, because the other side may assume--or at least wish to proceed under--the assumption that you are in fact an owner of vehicle itself, and not merely someone financing it, so to speak. You may need therefore to provide evidence that it is not your car.


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