If my name is on a vehicle but there is no insurance on it, if there is an accident will I be liable?

UPDATED: Oct 11, 2012

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If my name is on a vehicle but there is no insurance on it, if there is an accident will I be liable?

My name is on the title of a vehicle and the vehicle was awarded to my ex in the divorce. The bank will not refinance the loan, so they are telling me that there is no way to get my name off. If my ex doesn’t carry car insurance on the vehicle and something happens, where do I stand in this? I can’t afford to carry coverage on a vehicle I don’t drive or have.

Asked on October 11, 2012 under Accident Law, Minnesota


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As the registered owner of the vehicle, you will be liable if your ex or someone else driving the vehicle is at fault in an accident.  Your liability would include property damage to the other party's vehicle and their personal injury claim.  The personal injury claim would 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 determined by the information in the medical reports.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If there is a judgment against you in this situation which you are unable to pay, you might want to consider filing bankruptcy.  Another alternative would be to sue your ex for the amount of the judgment against you.

If your ex or another driver driving the vehicle is NOT at fault in the accident, then you are NOT liable to the other party, who is at fault in the accident. 

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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