Is the person on title responsible for an auto accident?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is the person on title responsible for an auto accident?

We purchased a vehicle for our daughter. She is making monthly payments to us to pay off her car and until she has satisfied her debt we have the car titled in our name as if we were the loan company with a lien. She has been responsible for maintaining insurance on the vehicle, maintenance, gas, and any repairs as it is her car. I was just notified today that she has allowed her insurance to lapse. If she were to be involved in an accident and does not have

insurance, would we be in any way held responsible since the vehicle is titled in our name even though it’s not our car?

Asked on August 5, 2016 under Accident Law, Missouri


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As the registered owner of the vehicle, you are liable if your daughter is at fault in an accident.
Your liability would include property damage (cost of repairs to the other vehicle not at fault in the accident) and the personal injury claims of the occupants of the other vehicle not at fault in the accident.
The personal injury claim of each occupant of the other vehicle will include the medical bills, pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills and wage loss.
If your daughter is NOT at fault in an accident and does NOT have insurance, you are NOT liable.

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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