Can you be sued for an auto accident if it was your car but you were not the driver?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can you be sued for an auto accident if it was your car but you were not the driver?

My Brother was in a car accident in my fathers car about a year ago. Which had no insurance. The car was totaled. My brother ran a red light and the other car hit him causing him to run into a pole and into a ditch. my brother was fine no injurys and so was the person who hit him. The other car barely had any damage. Everything was fine, we got everything settled at the dealership. And we were all clear until today, my dad found out that he is being sued by the parents of the person who was driving the other car. My father definatley cannot afford an attorney. I am just wondering how in the heck is this possible? shouldnt they be sueing my brother instead? this is not My fathers fault in any way, shape or form

Asked on April 13, 2016 under Accident Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Legally, it is your father's responsibility, if your brother was at-fault in how he drove--e.g. was driving negligently, or carelessly, as he apparently was (he went through a red light, which is careless): the owner of a vehicle is liable for the injuries and damage caused by an at-fault driver whom the owner lets or allows to drive his car. The person hit by the at-fault driver has the option of suing the driver, the owner, or broth, and will generally sue the person whom he or she thinks has the most assets or income--i.e. is most likely to be able to pay.
If your father has to pay any amounts due to this suit, he in turn could seek to recover them from your brother by suing your brother (the at-fault driver) for the money. Procedurally, he would sue your brother as a third-party defendant in the lawsuit against your father, bringing your brother into that lawsuit.

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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