Can I be held responsible for my stepson’s auto accident?

UPDATED: Oct 10, 2011

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Can I be held responsible for my stepson’s auto accident?

My stepson is about to get his drivers license and his father will give him a car. The car will be in my stepson’s name and my wife will include him on her insurance policy. Can I be liable if he is at fault in an auto accident? He is living with his mother and me.

Asked on October 10, 2011 under Accident Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Potentially you could be personally liable for damages caused by your stepson if he is in an automobile accident given the right circumstances. For example, if you allow him to drive your vehicle (registered in your name) and he is in an accident you could be held responsible for carelessly allowing him to drive your car.

It is good that the stepson is on your insurance policy for the car that is registered in his name. Make sure that the policy amount for the vehicle is a substantial policy, not a $15,000 auto insurance policy.

Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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