Can parents be sued for an accident in a car registered undertheirname?

UPDATED: Aug 18, 2011

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Can parents be sued for an accident in a car registered undertheirname?

Car is registered under parents name and 18 year old is going to an out of state college with the car. How liable are we if he causes a serious accident. Would it be a better idea to register the car under the 18 year old?

Asked on August 18, 2011 New Hampshire


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The registered owners of the vehicle are liable for an accident caused by the driver of their vehicle.  Since your son is 18, if the car is registered in his name, he would be liable since legally 18 is considered to be an adult. You would not be liable if the car is registered in his name since he is no longer a minor.  Yes, it would be better to register the car in his name.  Liability could include property damage to the other vehicle and personal injury claims of the occupants.  The personal injury claim could include medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering and documentation of wage loss.  Your son should have adequate auto insurance.


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