Question: I sold my car to a guy and got a bill of sale. A year later, the car was involved in an accident. I am now getting letters from insurance companies and attorneys because my name is on the title. What do I do?
Robert’s Answer: The reason you are being contacted is because the vehicle title was never registered in the new owner’s name. That is probably because the buyer didn’t want to pay the taxes and registration fees. So, your name is being dragged into this on the theory of negligent entrustment.
Since you were not the driver and if you have proof that you actually sold the car, then your should be okay. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore the issue and it will go away. You might even want to notify your insurance company of the situation and see if there is something they can do to help before things get out of hand. If a lawsuit gets filed, then you will probably be served with court papers. If so, then you have to be prepared to present your case and defend yourself in court.
The next time you sell a car, make sure you take down all the information on the buyer: name, address, telephone number, date of sale, etc. Then there is a form that you can file with the Texas Department of Transportation where you can report the sale of the car. That will, at least, make a records of the sale in case the buyer doesn’t register the car.