who can be sued

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who can be sued

my 18 year old son was involved in a car accident where he was at fault and the passenger was injured. There were no other vehicles involved. He is on our insurance and we are co signer of the vehicle. Beyond that can the passenger and or his family sue us further?

Asked on August 7, 2016 under Accident Law, Vermont

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if you are co-signers on his vehicle, you are part or co-owners of the vehicle, and that makes you potentially liable for any accidents where he is at fault (a vehicle owner is liable for accidents involving it, unless the vehicle had been stolen at the time--you are not  liable for the acts of people who take your car without permission, even implicit permission). The issue then becomes whether your son was at fault (i.e. driving negligently or carelessly), since liability depends on fault: if you are not at fault, you are not liable. However, in a single car accident, since no one else  hit him, it is very likely that he was driving negligently, which is also what your question indicates: therefore, if you are right and he was at fault, then yes, you could be liable for the passenger's injuries.


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