Does a co-signer on a car loan bear any liability regarding an accident?

UPDATED: Sep 2, 2014

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Does a co-signer on a car loan bear any liability regarding an accident?

My fiancé was in an auto accident 2 months ago. It is my insurance policy but he is also on it. My dad co-signed for my car for me. My insurance company called my fiance and informed him that the other insurance company is suing and they said that considering most of our limits are exhausted, they are going to try to work something out. I am so upset right now because I am wondering if they can go after my father; they have never mentioned my father’s name but is this possible? He was not involved in the accident nor on my insurance, he was simply a co-signer for me just so I could buy my car. Also, my car is paid off now from my insurance check. I will do any thing to have this all on me instead of my dad.

Asked on September 2, 2014 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you dad only co-signed the loan, he is not liable for any accidents--his only responsibility is to pay the loan if you fail to. If he is on the title, however, then he is a co-owner of the loan, as well as a co-signer; if that's the case, the could be liable, since any/all owners of a car are potentially liable for accidents, even if they personally never use or drive the car, or don't even think of it as their car. So the key issue is whether he is only a co-signor or is also on the title.

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