What rights do I have if someone gets in a car accident in a car with my name on it? ?

Basically I bought my sister a car. She got in a car accident and damaged SMUD property. SMUD is now suing me for the damages. My sister left the scene we believe she may have been under the influence. What are my options? If I sued does it have to be for money or could I sue for her to take responsibility for what transpired. I’ve already reached out to a lawyer but the wait is killing me. She didn’t have car insurance . 

Update:

The amount of damages is aprox: 75,000 and I didn’t have insurance for her vehicle 

11 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    You have the right to have your insurance cover the damages. 

    You say "she didn't have car insurance". Is the car registered in her name? Then it's her problem. 

    If the car is registered in your name, then it's not "her" car, it's yours, and you're the one who has to have insurance on it. 

  • 1 month ago

    You need a real lawyer. Get one.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    The TITLED owner of the car is the person who is responsible for insuring the vehicle AND facing the consequences of any accident claims (including bodily injury).

    She didn't have insurance and the car was titled in her name OR there was no insurance on the vehicle and it was titled in your name?

    In MY State if an uninsured vehicle causes damage and there is no insurance, the titled owner loses his/her drivers license until the monetary judgment is paid in full.

  • Bruce
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Driving is not a right, it is a privilege. Therefore you don't have rights, you have responsibilities. Your responsibility is to have it insured before you let someone take it. Best case scenario for you is SMUD sues you both and you are only responsible for half. 

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    As owner, you are liable for all the damages that are the fault of anyone driving your car. That's why car owners get insurance on all cars in their name. There's nothing you can do to get out of liability. Nothing. If you are sued, you are legally responsible for all the damages done by a car you own, meaning a car for which your name appears on the title.

    So, if you are sued and lose, you must pay. Your only recourse is if and when that happens to then sue your sister for your damages, for the damages done to your car and to anyone else's property that you are being held liable for. You turning around and suing your sister doesn't transfer the liability over to her. It also doesn't get you out of having to pay until she pays. It just means that you may be able to recover all or part of your damages from your sister. By the way, since you only get one bite at the apple, if you sue your sister before a legal settlement is reached on the damages she did, then she also doesn't have to pay, so you have to wait until that lawsuit plays out and there is a verdict on it before you can sue your sister.

    As they say, you can't get blood from a turnip, so if your sister doesn't have any income or assets but you do, then you've got income and assets that the damaged party can seize from you in a lawsuit while you turning around and suing your sister for what you get seized from you from losing that lawsuit may be a fruitless effort.   

    Again, that's what insurance is for. Never have your name on the title of anything, car or otherwise, that you don't completely control or that you don't insure, like that's why landlords insure their rental property in case someone gets hurt on their property even though they're not the ones living there and even when the one's living there are the reason why the person got hurt.

  • a2yar
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    America is doomed..praise Allah!!

  • 1 month ago

    The option is to retain a lawyer (who might get an out of court settlement) or face the music alone.

    It can be argued that you were not prudent when you failed to make sure she had insurance.

    Yes you can sue your sister, she should also be named on the law suit.

    The thing is, if you can't collect from your sister then you will be out the money for the lawyer too. It might alienate the family.

    Not knowing the dollar figures it is hard to give sound advice.

    So get down to a lawyers office and put them on a retainer.

  • 1 month ago

    In liability claims it is common practice for lawyers to sue everyone they can think of.  Unless your sister stole the car from you, the two of you are legally connected.  You will have to talk to a lawyer to protect your own interest.

  • Kerri
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    Jurisdiction, jurisdiction, jurisdiction!  In most jurisdictions, the CAR is insured, not the driver.  It's your car, right?  You let someone else drive it, but again that comes back to YOU.  Your car damaged property.  You are responsible for that damage.  You purchase insurance to shift the risk from you to the insurance company.  If you don't have insurance, then you are responsible for the damages inflicted by your car. 

  • 1 month ago

    It’s your fault 

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