Q: Is it better to privately lease a vehicle in FL or sell the vehicle with an associated lean against it?
I am the secretary for a 501c3 focused on supporting military and ex-military veterans. We have a unique situation where the group acquired a motorcycle trike, which the group would like to "loan" to a biker who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident. We want to know if we should indefinitely lease the trike to the person, or if we should sell the trike and place a lean against it. Does either, or both, indemnify us as an organization from liability? Should the person no longer want to continue operating the trike, is the process of recovery easier with one method versus the other from a legal process standpoint? Our goal is to have no liability, and be able to reissue the trike to another when this person is done with it.
A: Liability attaches to whoever owns the trike as well as whoever is driving it when an accident occurs. So if the club owns the trike (name on the title) they cannot avoid liability by leasing it or selling it subject to a purchase money loan. Hire an experienced lawyer to help keep the club on this side of the bankruptcy fence.
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