Can I be sued if I am the sole owner or a cosigner on a car involved in an accident?

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Can I be sued if I am the sole owner or a cosigner on a car involved in an accident?

There was recently an accident where fatalities were involved and I was not the one driving the vehicle, but I am a cosigner on the car. Can the other family involved in the accident sue me as well?

Asked on April 16, 2009 under Accident Law, North Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

In nearly every state the owner of a car can be sued for injuries caused by any person driving your car with your actual or implied permission.

If you are not any owner but merely a co-signer on a loan to the bank, that's raises a host of different issues altogether. All sorts of facts and circumstances could be marshaled to argue whether or not you should be treated as a quasi-owner and have liability attributed to you. If you were a total stranger that merely guaranteed the loan (think the equivalent of mortgage insurance) you'd not have liability.

If there is liability insurance on the car your insurance company will defend you and pay any judgment up to the dollar limits of your policy. I sure hope you opted for a large liability policy limit and/or had an umbrella policy.

 


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