Is it Possible to Sue a Cosigner for a Car Accident?
A cosigner can be sued for a car accident, but only in certain situations. Most of the time, the driver who caused an accident, and not the cosigner, can be sued. In some states, however, there are exceptions that hold the cosigner liable even if they were not involved in the accident.
Determining liability after a car accident can be complex. That’s why many injured claimants partner with attorneys, like those at the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato. We can prove liability and seek what you need. Call (954) 633-8270 to begin a free case review.
Negligent Drivers Are Usually Responsible for Accidents
Drivers in each state owe a duty of care to everyone else on the road, which includes other drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians. A duty of care is an obligation to drive safely and avoid putting others at risk of harm. Drivers who violate their duty of care are negligent, and if their negligence leads to an accident, they can hold financial responsibility for any resulting damages.
Many common driving behaviors constitute negligence, including:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Running stop signs or red lights
- Driving without regard for current weather conditions
- Weaving in and out of lanes
- Drag racing
If the cosigner wasn’t behind the wheel when the accident happened, chances are, they aren’t liable for your damages. Still, because every collision comes with its own circumstances, you could hold them liable.
A Cosigner Can Be Sued for a Car Accident in Certain Situations
Broadly speaking, someone injured in a car accident could sue the at-fault driver. For example, if you cosigned a loan for your son, and he causes an accident, the injured party could sue him. In general, you, the cosigner, cannot be sued for a car accident, even if the other borrower caused the accident through their negligence.
However, in some states, if you cosign a loan and are also on the title, you can be sued for a car accident. In Bowen v. Taylor-Christensen, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that an injured party could sue both parties listed on the title, even though one of them had never driven the car. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers can determine whether you may be liable based on the specifics of your loan and title history.
Reasons to Connect With a Lawyer Following a Car Accident
If you suffered injuries in a car accident, you want every possible avenue of recovering compensation. This may include suing a cosigner. When a Miami car accident lawyer takes over your case, they can:
- Determine liability
- Assess your financial losses
- Negotiate a settlement
- Communicate with the involved parties
- Gather evidence of negligence
- Apply civil law to your case
- File your claim or lawsuit
- Protect you from uncooperative insurance companies
- Offer updates on your case’s progression
- Manage your case at no upfront or out-of-pocket cost
What’s more, your Florida car accident lawyer can also adhere to all state deadlines, including the statute of limitations. This law generally gives you anywhere from one to four years to file your lawsuit. For instance, in Florida, you generally have four years to sue. Your lawyer can make sure your case follows all deadlines, thereby protecting your right to damages.
What Is a Cosigner? What Obligations Do They Have?
While exploring whether you could sue a cosigner for a car accident, it’s good to know exactly what a cosigner does.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, a cosigner is someone who agrees to be responsible for another person’s debt. When you cosign a loan, you guarantee that you will assume the debt if the other person stops making payments for any reason. If you fail to repay the debt, the lender can take steps against you, such as suing you or garnishing your wages, and the loan default will affect your credit score.
Typically, people need someone to cosign a loan because they do not qualify for the loan on their own. Sometimes, the borrower is too young or lacks the credit history to take out a loan. Other times, the borrower has a poor credit history.
The reason why someone cosigned the other vehicle in your collision doesn’t affect your right to damages. As the injured party, you have the right to seek damages and hold the negligent party accountable.
The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato Can Help You After a Car Accident
Contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato if you want to pursue damages following a collision. Based on your situation, both the cosigner and the at-fault driver could have liability. We can listen to your concerns, determine your options, and advise you on the next steps. Contact or call our office today at (954) 633-8270 to learn more about how we can help you. We charge nothing for your first case review, and there’s no obligation.