Am I liable?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Am I liable?

I own a car and have it insured with myself and two other people as drivers. I allow these two other people to drive it. They do not have driver licenses. If they have an accident which is their fault, can I be sued? My husband does not know about any of this. He is on the policy due to some kind of law, I guess. But, I don’t want us to lose our home or our retirement plan/money. So, is that a possibility? I live in Texas and so do the other drivers.

Asked on February 5, 2018 under Accident Law, Texas


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If those other drivers are at fault in an accident, you are liable because you are the registered owner of the vehicle.  Your insurance company might deny the claim from the party not at fault in the accident because your drivers are unlicensed.
If your insurance company denies the claim, you are liable for the property damage to the vehicle not at fault in the accident and the personal injury claims of all occupants of that vehicle.
The personal injury claims will include compensation for the medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills, and compensation for wage loss.
You will be sued for negligence if your insurance company denies the claim because your drivers were unlicensed.  
If there is a court judgment against you from an auto accident in which your unlicensed drivers are at fault, and you can't afford to pay the judgment, you can file bankruptcy.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy is straight liquidation  which will eliminate that debt.  There are exemptions which may protect your home and other assets when you file Chapter 7.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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