What is my liability if I owned a vehicle that I did not have insurance on and my son drove it without permission when he was drunk and had an accident?

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What is my liability if I owned a vehicle that I did not have insurance on and my son drove it without permission when he was drunk and had an accident?

He hit a parked car and now their insurance company has hired an attorney and they want me to pay $10,000 for damages and they are going to ask the state to suspend or keep me from getting a license until I pay the full amount. Am I responsible or is my son? Can I get help to reduce this cost and maybe make arrangements?

Asked on February 9, 2016 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You and your son are liable for the accident, but you are primarily liable because you are the registered owner of the vehicle your son was driving.
Although laws vary from state to state, your state may be able to suspend your license for not having auto insurance.
Although you can attempt to negotiate with the insurance company for the owner of the parked car, that may not succeed.
If a court judgment in this case is obtained against you in an amount that you cannot afford, you might want to consider filing bankruptcy.  If you are eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy which is straight liquidation, the debt in this case can be eliminated.
If you are not eligible to file Chapter 7, you can file Chapter 13 bankruptcy; however, Chapter 13 requires a plan (budget) for repayment of creditors.


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