What to do if last year when I was 19 I bought a car and just now had an accident but never transferred the car to my name, etc?

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What to do if last year when I was 19 I bought a car and just now had an accident but never transferred the car to my name, etc?

I didn’t know anything about the car buying process at the time. We signed the Title, and he left his old plates on the car. Not knowing any better, with the title and plates I thought I was good to go. I just got into an accident with it but it was still registered to the previous owner. I’ve all ready got over a $1,000 in fines, however the previous owner is also being fined $5000(due next month). He says that I need to resolve this or he’s going to sue. Does he have grounds for a lawsuit? And, if so, is there anything that I can do?

Asked on February 23, 2014 under Accident Law, Iowa

Answers:

Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

It was your responsibility to get the title and registration transfered over to your name.  If the previous owner is now facing fines because you did not do so, you are liable to reimburse him, and he does have grounds for a lawsuit.  You should settle with the previous owner, so that he does not need to sue you, and you both will not incur additional costs.


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