WA state personal injury law, car accident, liability of car owner, car sale pending

Asked over 5 years ago - Seattle, WA

I was in the process of selling my car, to what I now know to be a very shady person. He never paid me for the car, so I told him not to drive it and I never put the car in his name. He got in a accident and so I signed the car over to a dump to be collected. Later a lawyer called me and told me that the accident was a hit and run, and that my car was responsible. Thats the only time since that anyone has contacted me about it. What do I do to eliminate or at least greatly reduce my risk of going to jail for this, since i had absolutely nothing to do with the accident. I didn't even know about it till later on anyway.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Evan Matthew Oshan

    Contributor Level 11

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    Lawyer agrees

    3

    Answered . IT SEEMS LIKE WHAT YOU NEED NOW MORE THAN ANYTHING IS A GOOD PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR WHO MAY BE ABLE TO PROVIDE YOU WITH SOME TYPE ASSISTANCE. AS YOU KNOW "HIT AND RUN" IS A VERY SERIOUS OFFENSE IN WASHINGTON. FEEL FREE TO GIVE ME A CALL MAYBE I COULD STEER YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. SINCE THE CAR WAS IN YOUR NAME AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT YOU MUST ESTABILSH YOUR STORY IS TRUE.



    EVAN OSHAN
    ATTORNEY AT LAW
    P.O. BOX 861
    MERCER ISLAND, WA 98040-0861
    310 906 7137
    OSHANLEGAL@GMAIL.COM

    DISCLAIMER:
    NOTE: SINCE I AM NOT YOUR ATTORNEY THE ABOVE SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AND THE ATTORNEY CLIENT PRIVLEDGE DOES NOT YET EXIST.

  2. J.D. Smith

    Contributor Level 10

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    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . I must be honest it appears you exercised extremely poor judgment by allowing someone to take possession of a vehicle without paying. Your question leaves out some critical information. You indicated "he never paid me for the car". How long had he had the car before the accident occurred? Did you provide permission before the payment issue arose? Was anything put in writing? The Department of Licensing has strict requirements for both sellers and buyers? If you did all the paperwork and he simply did not pay; then you have an argument that title passed when he took delivery and therefore you have no liability for what happened after he took possession of the vehicle. He waas required to provide insurance just as buyers are when they leave a car lot with a financed vehicle. I agree with other answers it does not appear there are criminal implications.

  3. Jeena R. Belil

    Contributor Level 13

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    Lawyer agrees

    3

    Answered . I am not sure of any criminal implications, however if you have not contacted your insurance company, do so immediately. Did you give the keys over to the prospective purchasor? Your policy may provide coverage for permissive users of your vehicle, even if that permission was implied.

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