Husband signed title of car over to stepson. Stepson was in an accident totalling the car before he could get it registered in his name with DMV in FL. Apparently, the other person involved is claiming injuries. Just want to clear my husband's name in this. Stepson had liability insurance as car was paid off.
I would contact your insurance company immediately to have them defend this. As to your question, the driver and the owner is responsible for the operation of the vehicle and any negligence thereof. I would have your husband file with the DMV a notice of sale/bill of sale so that this issue does not happen again.
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Turn the matter over to your insurance company. It will defend your interests.
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Best approach is to turn this over to your stepson's insurance company for handling. They will provide an attorney to defend.
Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The response herein is general legal and business analysis.. It is not intended nor construed to be "legal advice" but rather it is analysis, and different lawyers may analyze this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here. In seeking an attorney on this site, beware of limiting your search to attorneys with a 10 rating, and carefully read the AVVO disclaimer regarding their rating system. There are certain factors that are given great weight which do not necessarily have any bearing on an attorney's experience, abilities, and results with certain types of cases. Accordingly, the rating numbers can be misleading. Also beware of basing your choice on the fee charged, as a low fee, depending on the skill, experience and determination of the specific attorney handling your case, could actually have an inverse relationship to the amount actually put in your pocket.
Except always remember if it goes into litigation, defense attorney is always protecting the insurance company instead of you. Ask questions bc you're entitled to fair representation and a lot of times they don't disclose this conflict or ensure you're protected
A driver and registered owner of a vehicle are both liable for damages caused by the driver of the vehicle. If your husband and stepson have different insurance companies they should both be notified and the insurance company(ies) will provide the defense.
Typically, in Florida, liability rests with BOTH the DRIVER who caused the accident, as well as the registered OWNER of the vehicle (under the Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine). This, it is possible that your husband could be pursued for damages unless he can demonstrate and prove that he gave up ownership of the vehicle BEFORE the accident. As suggested by my colleagues, the insurance company for the vehicle would be responsible for providing a defense and possibly indemnify (pay) liability claims arising out of the accident provided your step son carried coverage for property damage and bodily injury liability. If you are really concerned, you should consider consulting with a lawyer of your choosing to find out what your husband's rights and responsibilities are from the accident (especially if the injuries/damages claimed are significant.). Good luck to you.
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