If I sell a car and leave it in my name until payments are complete am I liable if they get in an auto accident?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I sell a car and leave it in my name until payments are complete am I liable if they get in an auto accident?

Someone I know wants to buy my car and pay me payments but to be on the safe side I want to leave it in my name until I receive all the money. If I

leave the car in my name and something were to happen like they were at fault in an accident, can I be sued and held liable for it? Or say they’re in an accident and they don’t have insurance on the car in my name, can I be held liable for whatever happens?

Asked on February 18, 2017 under Accident Law, California


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As long as you are the registered owner of the vehicle, you are liable for accidents in which the driver of your vehicle is at fault.
Your liability will include property damage (cost of repairs) to the other vehicle and the personal injury claims of its occupants. The personal injury claims will include medical bills, pain and suffering (an amount in addition to the medical bills) and wage loss.

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