Legal Question in Consumer Law in California

What is my liability when I sell my car and it is totalled the same evening?

I sold my car to my boss...we made up a contract, signed it, he gave me a deposit check and I gave him the keys. I removed my insurance from the vehicle before he took possession....it was at 7:00 pm on a friday night...he did not have insurance put on it prior to the transaction,. Later that evening, he was in a horrible storm and totalled the car....now he has stopped payment on his deposit check and the vehicle is not insured and a complete wreck....is he liable to pay for a wrecked vehicle? Am I out a car and the $$$? I have been to my insurance company and they told me to go to the police...the police say it's a civil matter...please help ...I'm very upset. Thanks, Vicki

Asked on 12/31/05, 7:42 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Robert F. Cohen Law Office of Robert F. Cohen
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Re: What is my liability when I sell my car and it is totalled the same evening?

Not only are you out a car, but you might be out of a job, as well! Your boss is contractually obligated to pay you the amount you agreed to. Assuming that he didn't cause damage to anyone else's property, you would not have any liability (other than, perhaps, to the lender if there is one). Please let me know if I may help.

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12/31/05, 8:08 pm
H.M. Torrey The Law Offices of H.M. Torrey
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Re: What is my liability when I sell my car and it is totalled the same evening?

At the moment your boss took equitable title to the car at issue, he had an insurable interest in the vehicle himself and would remain liable for paying you the agreed upon sales price. His actions of cancelling payment is not only a breach of contract, but may also be deemed tortious fraud dependant on his "intent". Thus, you could be entitled to recovery for the contractual price as well as possible punitive damages. If you would like prompt, affordable legal assistance in this upsetting matter, contact us directly for a free phone consultation.

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12/31/05, 9:06 pm

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