What to do if I was involved in a wreck and the vehilce I was driving is mine but my husband and mother in law are the registered owners of vehicle?

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What to do if I was involved in a wreck and the vehilce I was driving is mine but my husband and mother in law are the registered owners of vehicle?

Also, my mother-in-law co-signed for vehicle. They have not said whose fault it was but I wanted to know who can they other driver sue she had liability olny on her car? I thought I had insurance but come to find out I didnt there was a mix up in vehicles.

Asked on November 8, 2012 under Accident Law, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you were NOT at fault in the accident, the other driver has no claim against you or the registered owners of your vehicle.  The registered owners of your vehicle can file a claim with the other driver's insurance company for property damage.  I assume you were not injured in the accident since you didn't mention it.  If you were injured, your personal injury claim is separate from the property damage claim.

If you were at fault in the accident, the registered owners of your vehicle are liable.  If the insurance is not sufficient to pay the other driver's property damage  and personal injury claims, the other driver can sue the registered owners of your vehicle for negligence.  You will also be named as a defendant in the lawsuit, but the focus of liability in the lawsuit will be on the registered owners of your vehicle.  The other driver's property damage claim will be for the cost of repairs to the vehicle.  If the other driver has a personal injury claim, that will include medical bills, pain and suffering and wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the other driver gets a judgment against the registered owners of your vehicle which they cannot afford to pay, they might want to consider filing bankruptcy.


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