So let me give you just the key points as the whole situation is just extremely complex.
1. Roommate gets G1. Buys car.
2. Owner of the car signs green slip and friend cannot insure the car so does not register under his name driving with old plates. Previous owner left them on.
3. I take the car to go grocery shopping. I do not have my own personal insurance as i dont own a car. I have a full G lisence though.
4. Get into an accident on the way. Sideswipe a car which ends up in the incomming lane and hits another car and a truck.
5. No one injured. No damage to the truck. Minimal damage to my roommates car. Other 2 cars are pretty much going to get written off.
6. Cop gives me a ticket for improper lane change.
7. I call room mate and he cannot proove ownership and insurance policy as he has neither.
8. Cop is generous gives 7 days to produce all this information + impounds the car.
So besides the obvious, i am screwed on many different level. I am not sure WHAT i can do. I know i am responsible and i am willing to take my fair share of the responsibility. So what would be my next steps. At the moment i am simply panicking and cannot think straight. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I dont know if its good news or not, but its the owner, not the driver who gets charged for a vehicle being operated without insurance. If its your friend/roommate whos the owner (even if its not registered on paper) hell be facing the charge which carries a $5,000 fine. Both you and him can also be charged for using plates which dont belong on the vehicle. If thats the case, it may be worth hiring legal representation due to the seriousness of the charges.
Did your room mate lose the bill of sale and green slip .. oh dear... so basically if a car has been bought but not registered and someone else is using it there is no crime committed by the one using it oh dear. I think you will find thats because all the paperwork has to match up, they can only charge according to the paperwork as far as I can tell oh dear
A statement from the previous owner stating when the vehicle was sold and to whom is sufficient to show ownership, the vehicle does not actually need to be registered to the owner.
Hi again. Thanks for your opinions so far. I would like to update the situation, as I was a bit unclear at first.
1. Roommate gets G1. Buys car.
2. Owner of the car (a mutual friend of ours) legally takes ownership of car on behalf of friend. Puts on legal plates but does NOT insure the car.
3. I randomly take the car to go grocery shopping. I do not have my own personal insurance as i dont own a car. I have a full G license though.
4. Get into an accident on the way. Sideswipe a car which ends up in the on-coming lane and hits 2 other cars.
5. No one injured. Minimal damage to 1 car. Minimal damage to roommates car. Other 2 cars are pretty much going to get written off (srs damage).
6. Cop gives me a ticket for improper lane change and failure to show pink insurance slip.
7. Cop is generous, gives 7 days to mutual friend (owner of car) to produce all this information but impounds car for now. Claims he will give car owner big fine...permitting to drive vehicle without insurance.
So far, I still am not sure WHAT i should do. I know i am responsible and am willing to take my fair share of the responsibility. So what would be my next steps? How to get the car out of impound? How to not involve the mutual friend (car owner)...even though I think that will be impossible. What happens with the other damaged vehicles?
Thanks in advance.
Getting the vehicle out of impound would typically simply require paying the towing and storage fee. If its not insured, you wouldnt be able to drive it, so you would have to pay to have it towed to your residence.
Not involving the car owner isnt possible since its his vehicle. The only way he wouldnt be liable for you operating it without insurance would be if you took the car without permission. If that truly were the case however youll likely face a criminal charge for taking a motor vehicle without consent, so its not something you can make up to get him off the hook.
The other vehicles that you struck will likely be insured through their respective owners, but youll be ultimately responsible for repaying the costs.
Also, you said the plates are legal, but in your first post you said the previous owner left them on. If that's the case, they're not legal. Sellers cannot transfer their plates to new owners.
Thanks again for your reply Stanton.
I called the towing company and they agreed to tow the car out but they want police authorization via a release document.
I told our mutual friend (car owner) to get in touch with the police and take responsibility. I don't want this to become a criminal case so I hope he doesn't claim that I took the car without his consent in an effort to free himself. But I need for him to get the release documents as the towing company needs them to release the vehicle so I can pay that bill.
Now the question is, he is out of town. If he gets subpoenaed to come to court for the 'permitting vehicle to be operated without insurance' offense, does he have to fly into town? Or can I hire a lawyer for him to represent him and possibly fight/reduce this charge as well? In that case can the lawyer go to court in his place if he is subpoenaed?
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