Los Angeles, CA asked in Car Accidents for California

Q: I received a summons for an auto accident that occurred after I sold the vehicle. Do I have to appear in court?

The vehicle was bought and the new owner took ownership. Then he got into an accident.

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4 Lawyer Answers
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Mill Valley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You must not ignore the summons. Turn it over to your insurance company right away, along with a copy of the form you filled out and turned in to the Department of Motor Vehicles when you sold it. Be sure not to miss any court deadlines.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: MORE INFO NEEDED BUT I SUSPECT YOU NEVER TRANSFERRED TITLE WITH THE DMV.

YES, YOU SHOULD APPEAR OTHERWISE EVIDENCE WILL BE PRESENTED AND YOUR SIDE WILL NOT BE REPRESENTED LET ALONE EXPLAIN TO THE COURT THAT YOU NO LONGER OWNED THE CAR.

BRING WHATEVER DOCUMENTATION YOU HAVE THAT YOU SOLD THE CAR.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

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

A: Mr. Dorfman is right. I'd just say follow up to make sure that it is covered. You should have transfered title and maybe he didn't record it. If you tansfered the plates to your new car paperwork on that would be good.

Likewise if you kept your car insurance, they should cover you for allegations involving a previously owned vehicle but if they don't you need to be sure to enter an appearance "Pro se" and also file an answer to the complaint within the time allowed. Don't let it go to default, because then even if you are totally not to blame for that crash you will have a hard time avoiding getting stuck with it.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

Manuel Alzamora Juarez
Manuel Alzamora Juarez
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Berkeley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes. You are obligated to go. At court explain to the court you sold the car. Provide name , address and telephone number of the person to whom you sold your car.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

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