Can a lien holder be legally responsible if the registered owner does not carry insurance?

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Can a lien holder be legally responsible if the registered owner does not carry insurance?

I was hit by a driver and as a result my vehicle was totaled. The driver is the
registered owner and his boss is the legal owner. The driver did not have
insurance. Is his boss legally responsible? The truck was used as a work truck.
I only had liability.

Asked on March 23, 2017 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A lien holder is not responsible for an accident or for a failure to have insurance: a lien is simply the right to be paid under certain circumstances; being a lienholder does not make one the "legal" owner of  vehicle. The legal owner is whomever it is registered to. The legal owner and the at-fault driver (if they are not one and the same) could both be liable for an accident, but someone whose only connection is a lien would not be.


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