Will a Person on a Car Title Be Held Liable in a Car Accident?

 

 

Transcript:

Hi, I’m Jared Richards. I’m one of the partners here at Clear Counsel Law Group. One of our readers has recently asked whether the person who’s on title with him on a car is going to be liable or responsible if he is at fault for an accident. The answer is maybe, but we have another video on this and please check it out. The quick answer is that person is going to be responsible if the responsible is just lending somebody a car or having somebody as co-title on the car. It’s not going to mean that they are instantly responsible. Now there are generally 3 methods that we go about to show that somebody else who isn’t driving is responsible.

Method one is that the person who owns the vehicle is the employer or in law sometimes we say the master of the person who is driving. Meaning the owner instructed the driver to drive and while the driver was doing what the owner said, they got in an accident. Now generally this applies in an employee or employer relationship. It certainly doesn’t happen every time. If somebody is on co-title with you, it’s generally not the case. The next thing that we look at is what we call negligent¬†entrustment. Negligence entrustment is when you own a vehicle and you give it to somebody that you know is not fit to drive.

Now there is a lot of case law on negligence entrustment and there tends to be an exclusion. You want to talk to your attorney and your attorney will have to do probably some briefing for the court on this, but there is an issue of whether negligence entrustment can even happen on somebody who is on co-title, who is on title of the car because they have a right to drive. You’re not letting them drive it. They have a right to drive. There is a law on that and some area for argument. The last is the person who is on co-title with you. If they are a member of your household, if they’re family and a member of your household, then the answer is yes they probably actually will be liable then that has to do with the family responsibility act.

Most of the time no, the person is not going to be responsible, but there are times specifically if they’re your employer, if you’re running an errand at their specific request behest or if you are a family member living with them, then they might be responsible. Thanks and will see you in another video.

 

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