My 17 year old son was in an accident while driving an uninsured vehicle...

by Anonymous
(Texas)

My son was driving a vehicle which he was making payments on from his boss. His boss could not produce the title but told my son he would keep the truck registered and insured until he could file for a lost title.

My son was in an accident and the boy that hit him took off from the wreck. My son waited there 10 to 15 minutes and then left. It was a minor accident. Four days later the cops went to the school and questioned my son and wrote out a police report.

The other boy's insurance company is now saying my son is at fault and that me and him are liable for $4,000 worth of damage to the other vehicle. My son is 17 and the truck my son was driving had no insurance. The boss produced the title at the end of March and now the truck is insured and registered in my name.

At the time of the accident the truck was not in my name and I am not sure if the truck was insured by my son's boss or not.

Can they hold us liable for the damages for this truck and suspend our driver's licenses like they are claiming they are doing? Wouldn't the boss be liable if the title was in his name at the time of the accident? Should my son's boss have gotten insurance? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "My 17 year old son was in an accident while driving an uninsured vehicle...":

Anonymous (Texas):

When the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) receives a notice an individual has been involved in a crash which resulted in an injury, death or property damages of at least $1,000, if the driver was uninsured at the time of the crash, the uninsured driver is subject to a driver license suspension.

For a driver license to be reinstated, an individual must submit to DPS one of the following:

- Evidence of liability insurance at the time of the crash

- A Notarized Release (SR-11) from liability of judgment

- A properly executed Installment Agreement (SR-19)(if DPS receives notice that an individual has defaulted on the installment agreement then the driver license is subject to suspension), or

- Deposit of a cashier’s check or money order, and submission a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22) and an (SR-22a) as proof of liability insurance. The insurance policy must be pre-paid for at least six-months. The SR-22 and SR-22a are available from any insurance company authorized by the Texas Department of Insurance.

If a suspension has been enforced, a reinstatement fee is required prior to the renewal or issuance of a driver license. In Texas, when a driver negligently causes a car accident, the owner and driver may both be liable for property damage and injuries resulting from the accident, regardless of the amount of injuries or property damage.

See here: Texas Department of Public Safety Crash Suspension

In your son's case, it is clear he was uninsured. He had to know that when he was driving. If he didn't know it, he should have. One can't presume a car or truck is insured, even if there is a transfer of title pending.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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