In a case where you are a co-signor on the lease, you are just as liable for the car as you would be if you bought it or if you were the only leasee. In case of potential liability in auto accident cases, co -signing and signing a lease holds the same responsibility. A co-signor can be sued for a car accident claim even if they do not drive the car ever. The liability for the car will lie with both leasees in all cases where
- The car was being driven by the other leasee on the permit – In this case, the lawsuit filed will cover your potential involvement even if you were not present in the car during the accident.
- The car was being driven by an authorized driver – Being a co-signor on a car lease means you and the other leasees of the car have the right to permit a third party to drive the car. In this situation, if the third party is in a car accident with your car, the lawsuit will still be filed against the leasees of the car even if you never drive the car yourself.
The only option where a co-signor of a car lease would not be liable for any auto accidents caused by that car is in the case of a car theft. In this case you will need to file a car theft report with your police department and the copy of the report has to be admitted in court during the civil lawsuit. This would prove that while the car was involved in the accident it was taken without the consent of any of the leasees.
Hiring a Legal counsel
As soon as you receive the notice for a car accident lawsuit from any car that you have cosigned on lease, make sure to employ an individual legal counsel for your protection. You are potentially liable for lawsuits on this car regardless of whether you have ever driven the car or not. In addition, if the other leasees involved in the accident refuse to pay, the claiming party might go after you in this case. Having an experienced legal expert in your corner is the only way to maneuver through these tricky circumstances.
The only way to get out of such a claim scenario is to prove that the driver of your car was not at fault or negligent enough to cause the accident.
Another way to prevent yourself from being vulnerable to such a scenario is to avoid co-signing on a car lease. You can however, stand as a guarantor for a car lease without being liable for any civil lawsuits accrued on the car in the future.
If you need assistance with a car accident or just need to access medical centers and attorneys who can help, call 305-305-HELP (3457)