Visitor Question

Suing the Owner of the Car?

Submitted By: Alicia (Memphis, TN)

My boyfriend was driving my car and got into an accident that was his fault. I didn’t have insurance and he got the ticket. The other party is now suing me for damages and I wasn’t even there when it happened.

My boyfriend has made payment arrangements with them and they still suspended my license. Can they do that? Can they sue me even if I wasn’t driving?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Alicia,

In the State of Tennessee the owner and driver of an uninsured vehicle involved in an accident can have their driver’s license suspended. Additionally, whether you were actually driving your car or not is irrelevant when it comes to a defense from a lawsuit filed by an injured party.

The owner of a vehicle which causes an accident is equally liable for damages caused by the driver of her vehicle. In your case you will be responsible individually and collectively with your boyfriend for the payment of the injured party’s damages.

You might check with the State of Tennessee Motor Vehicle Department. In many cases when a payment plan has been established with the injured party, the driver and owner’s drivers license suspension can be probated until such time as the damages are paid. In that same case, if your boyfriend defaults on his payments, both of your licenses will be automatically suspended regardless of any payment plan.

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

Best of luck,

Published: October 11, 2012

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