Can I be sued if I wasn’t the driver but the car and insurance was in my name?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I be sued if I wasn’t the driver but the car and insurance was in my name?

On March 17,2017 my ex was driving a car that was register and insured in my name. He was a designated driver on the insurance. His license was current and everything.
Recently the car insurance settled for 17,000 3K for the car damages. The claim is closed. Yet on August 26, 2016 I received court papers from stating that I need to file papers because, apparently their is further legal action occurring. My ex is currently in a Nursing home facility. He has suffered traumatic head injury in a separate accident. He has no memory of the account. What is my level of vulnerability in this matter?

Asked on September 26, 2016 under Accident Law, New Jersey


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As the registered owner of the vehicle, you are liable for the accident even if you weren't present when it occurred.
You will need to respond to the documents  with which you were served.  You were probably served with a summons and complaint and need to file an answer to the complaint.  Your insurance company should provide you with an attorney at no cost to you.  Contact your insurance company and forward the documents to your insurance company's attorney as soon as possible.  If the answer to the complaint is not timely filed, the opposing party will obtain a default judgment against you.  A default means you have lost; however, you can still file a motion to set aside the default and the case will then be back on track.

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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