IfIwere to get into an accident in my new car, could my father be held responsible if title is in his name?

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IfIwere to get into an accident in my new car, could my father be held responsible if title is in his name?

I’m 30 years old and my father recently purchased me a car. He was told by my insurance company that because my name wasn’t on the title that if I were to be involved in an accident that exceeded the amount of coverage offered by my insurance company that he could be sued because the car is titled to him. I’m just trying to avoid him being legally responsible for my actions being that I’m an adult. the car is a gift and not fully paid. That’s why it is titled in his name.

Asked on September 29, 2011 under Accident Law, Maryland

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you are at fault in an accident, your father will be liable because he is the registered owner of the vehicle.  If the insurance is not enough to cover the property damage to the other vehicle and the personal injury claims of the occupants of the other vehicle, then your father could be sued because he is the registered owner of your vehicle.  The personal injury claims of the occupants of the other vehicle could include medical bills, pain and suffering, and wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of the injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.

If you are in an auto accident which is not your fault, the other driver is liable.  Your father won't be sued because the other driver is liable.  You could file property damage and personal injury claims against the other driver's insurance company.  If the other driver doesn't have insurance and your insurance includes uninsured motorist coverage, you could file an uninsured motorist claim through your insurance company.


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