Are You Responsible For Accidents Involving A Vehicle You Sold?
If you have recently sold a vehicle, chances are you do not expect to hear anything more about it after the paperwork is signed. However, if the new owner of the car gets into a car accident, you may face a lawsuit because you owned the car previously. This is especially frustrating and can cause you some anguish. Unfortunately, this is more common than you may think. The following are some things you should keep in mind when you sell a vehicle that is later involved in an accident:
How Were You Tracked Down?
When a car gets into an accident, the vehicle's registration information is recorded in the police report. If the driver of the car you owned caused the accident, it is possible you can be contacted by either an attorney or an insurance company for compensation for the accident.
How Can This Happen?
This scenario can occur when the new owner of the vehicle does not go to the local DMV to transfer the title and pay the appropriate fees. He or she may have done this for any number of reasons. According to a title search, you are technically still the owner of the car until the new owner takes this step.
Are You Actually Responsible?
The short answer is no, you are not going to be responsible for any lawsuits as a result of the car accident. Once you sell a vehicle, you no longer have any control over it or any activity it is involved in after you are no longer in possession of it. However, you will have to provide proof of the sale.
How Can You Avoid This?
One of the most important pieces of evidence is your bill of sale. This is a crucial document that you should have had drawn up prior to the sale. Both you and the buyer should sign the bill of sale, which lists the date of purchase, the purchase price, the type of car, the VIN, and the contact information for all parties to the sale.
If you made a copy of the signed title, you can supply this as part of your proof that you no longer own the car. The title should have the name of the new owner written on it until a new title is created.
Once you sell the car, you may want to contact the DMV to report the sale. There should be a form for you to complete that includes all the information regarding the sale. Keep a copy of this form in your records. All of this information will prove you no longer are the legal owner of the vehicle.
If you have trouble with this type of case, be sure to contact an auto accident attorney right away to get help.