Can I be held financial liable for an accident if a vehicle that was registered in my name was involved in an accident?

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Can I be held financial liable for an accident if a vehicle that was registered in my name was involved in an accident?

I signed the car over to my relative but she failed to get insurance and register the car. Now she is facing DUI assault. She is pending a trial. Can the other party come after me for damages due to the vehicle not being registered in their name?

Asked on March 15, 2012 under Accident Law, Colorado

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As the registered owner of the vehicle, you are liable for the accident caused by your relative.  Your liability would include property damage to the other vehicle and personal injury claims of the occupants of the other vehicle.  The personal injury claims will include compensation for the medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills and compensation for wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the other party obtains a judgment against you which you cannot afford to pay, you might want to consider filing bankruptcy.  It would be premature to file bankruptcy until there is a judgment against you because you would not know the amount of the judgment at this time.  Don't worry about it now because it will be several months or a year or longer before a potential lawsuit is filed and perhaps longer before there is a court judgment against you.


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