Asked in Car Accidents and Wrongful Death for Missouri

Q: If a vehicle title holder is not the insured driver of the vehicle, can they be held liable for any damages as well?

The individual that is at fault for an accident did not have enough insurance (underinsured). This person is not listed as the owner of the vehicle, his wife is, and she is not included on the insurance policy. Can she be sued as the owner? Also, the driver was driving on a suspended license, which she was aware of. Does this increase her liability since she is the listed owner and allowed a non-licensed driver to operate the vehicle?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Michael S. Foster
Michael S. Foster
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: We would need to know more facts in order to potentially bring a negligent entrustment case as well. Do you have underinsurance?

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Wyomissing, PA

A: From the owner's point of view, no. Their insurance is up for grabs but unless they knew of the suspension I don't see that there would be a claim (and asserting it might impact the insurance so the person asserting it may shoot themselves in the foot. Some liability coverage is better thatn no liability coverage. If the driver owns a property, they need to check with the liability to see if that covers this situation. On liability a person with a suspended license isn't necessarily an unsafe driver--a license may be suspended for unpaid parking violations, for instance.

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