Can I be sued because I am on the title of my mom’s car?

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Can I be sued because I am on the title of my mom’s car?

I live in TN and my mom in FL. I am on the title of my mom’s car to make things simple for her estate. If her car (whether driven by her or someone else) is involved in an accident, can I be sued?

Asked on April 7, 2009 under Accident Law, Tennessee

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Yes.  And in most states you could be held liable as owners are responsible for accidents that are the result of an authorized driver's negligence or fault. 

If your parent has sufficient auto liability insurance (far more than the bare minimum, and perhaps an umbrella policy on top of that) as a practical matter the exposure is significantly reduced. 

Also, most states have procedures for quickly transferring a car without elaborate probate after a death -- especially where there are clear and binding instructions as to who should get it. You or she should go to the DMV and/or local probate court to see what the procedure would be in her. And she should also have an up-to-date Will.


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