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oasis1313

Vicarious Liability from Adult Parent?

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My retired father, who is a widower, lives with us.  He has his own car which he drives himself and pays for his own insurance.  He wanted to be nice and put his car in my name as well as his own when he purchased it so that it would be easier to probate in the event of his passing.  If he were to be involved in an accidental auto accident, would my wife and I also be liable for any injuries that might arise?

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My retired father, who is a widower, lives with us.  He has his own car which he drives himself and pays for his own insurance.  He wanted to be nice and put his car in my name as well as his own when he purchased it so that it would be easier to probate in the event of his passing.  If he were to be involved in an accidental auto accident, would my wife and I also be liable for any injuries that might arise?

 

Yes, it's possible. It's remote, but possible.

 

Being on the title means that you own the car just as much as your Dad owns the car.

 

If you allow somebody to drive a car that you own and you knew, or should have known, that the driver was incompetent to drive, you could be held liable.

 

Worse, even if vicarious liability was not involved, you would be almost guaranteed to be named in any lawsuit brought against him for injuries to others.

 

Defending against that lawsuit (even successfully) would be so costly as to drive you into bankruptcy and ruin your financial future. Your own policy isn't likely to cover you because it's a car that you own but is not listed on your policy.

 

So, if you want to go along with this idea, I urge you to insist that your Dad list you and your wife as Named Insureds with him on his policy and insist on a copy of the policy and copies of his insurance cards showing your names on them. That's not a trust issue, it's a survival issue. I'm sure he'll understand if you explain it the way I just did.

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