Poway, CA asked in Car Accidents for California

Q: If I a the lien holder on car I am selling to my granddaughter, can I still be or liable if she got in a wreck

I currently live in CA. I just want to make sure she doesn't sell it. shes young and sometimes impulsive

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

A: If you are still the legal owner, then yes you can be held liable for owner's liability. If the car is transferred completely in her name, and you are just a lien holder, you would not be liable for her actions. The usual way to do this type of transaction is for you to get a promissory note from her for the amount she owes you, secured by a lien on the car. You should make sure that she has full coverage and that you, as lien holder, are named as an additional insured. Be sure the insurance company will notify you if she lets coverage lapse.

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

A: yes..........

an owner of a vehicle has up to $15k exposure if they loan a car to anyone that is in an accident.

if you own the car you have the same exposure even if you are NOT driving.

Ronnie Kashri
Ronnie Kashri
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Beverly Hills, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you are the owner you could still be liable.

Under California Vehicle Code section 17150, an owner may be liable for the negligent or wrongful act or omission of the driver by using the vehicle with permission, express or implied.

Pursuant to California Vehicle Code section 17151, the owner can be liable for up to $15,000 for death or injury to one person but up to $30,000 for more than one person and up to $5,000 for property damages.

In any case, if the driver is driving your vehicle as your agent or if there is any negligent entrustment, then you could be liable for the entire amount of injuries and property damages.

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