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Oceanview01

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#190852 14-Jan-2016 15:22
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Hi. I'm looking for advice in regards to a vehicle my husband purchased for an employee.

He purchased the car in Nov 2015 for one of his employees. The car was to be registered in my husbands name until the employee paid my husband back in full ($2,000), then he would sign the car over to him.

3 weeks later my husband gets a phone call from an insurance company stating that the car had been involved in an accident but the driver didn't stop. My husband explained the situation to the insurance company and that was the end of the conversation. My husband tried calling his employee numerous times to get in contact with him in regards to this matter but he ignored phone calls, texts and stopped showing up for work.

We then get a knock at the door this morning and it's an insurance investigator looking to speak to my husband. I told him he was at work, so he left me his card saying my husband needs to call him ASAP!

Is my husband liable for this accident because he is the registered owner but wasn't driving it?

We're a little worried and not sure what to do. Google hasn't been much help in this situation.

TIA

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ajobbins
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  #1470932 14-Jan-2016 15:25
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File a police report now




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sarg
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  #1470965 14-Jan-2016 15:30
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Your husband is not liable for the crash the driver of the vehicle is responsible for the crash and is the person liable




that would be an ecumenical matter

trig42
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  #1470966 14-Jan-2016 15:31
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IANAL.

I would say so long as he makes a declaration that he was not the driver, and who the driver (likely) was, he will be fine.

But yeah, you could file a police report, but I do not know what for. Theft? not really - the employee didn't steal the car did he? Just contact the insurance company and explain. They will probably just want the details of the employee.



johnr
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  #1470967 14-Jan-2016 15:31
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The driver of the car is liable not the registered owner!

Oceanview01

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  #1470990 14-Jan-2016 15:39
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Thanks so much for your responses. I really appreciate it. Lesson learned and one we won't be repeating in the future.

Thanks again!!

pbgben
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  #1470991 14-Jan-2016 15:39
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trig42: IANAL.

I would say so long as he makes a declaration that he was not the driver, and who the driver (likely) was, he will be fine.

But yeah, you could file a police report, but I do not know what for. Theft? not really - the employee didn't steal the car did he? Just contact the insurance company and explain. They will probably just want the details of the employee.


They could file a report for theft, as the now Ex-employee still owes $2K




gzt

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  #1470995 14-Jan-2016 15:43
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The investigator will be wanting to confirm some details that is all. Eg; will ask to see if car was insured and who the insurer is. Nothing to worry about.



johnr
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#1470996 14-Jan-2016 15:45
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pbgben:
trig42: IANAL.

I would say so long as he makes a declaration that he was not the driver, and who the driver (likely) was, he will be fine.

But yeah, you could file a police report, but I do not know what for. Theft? not really - the employee didn't steal the car did he? Just contact the insurance company and explain. They will probably just want the details of the employee.


They could file a report for theft, as the now Ex-employee still owes $2K


That is not theft, The 2K owning is a civil matter not police

MikeB4
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  #1471045 14-Jan-2016 16:19
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Have a chat with your lawyer

richms
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  #1471057 14-Jan-2016 16:22
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+1 on the lawyer.

I bet the loan agreement was never done too, so the whole legal staus of the car ownership (which is different to who pays the rego) is all up in the air too.




Richard rich.ms

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  #1471118 14-Jan-2016 17:23
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Funny thing about car registration in NZ is it doesn't actually prove ownership and isn't used as such (as richms has mentioned). Not that hard to register a car is someones else's name or forget to change the registered party when it changes hands. Advice above is pretty spot on, the insurance investigator will be wanting to get a written statement along the lines of what you've said. It's not a bad idea to get your husband to fill out a declaration to NZTA stating that they are no longer the registered party of the vehicle, will help to avoid drama in the future if the vehicle is sought or there are fines owing.

richms
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  #1471123 14-Jan-2016 17:25
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If the guy has not paid for it, and not turned up to work, then I would think it is basically taking a work car and abandoning the job, so it would now be stolen, but a lawyer that knows about employment stuff would be the best bet as to firstly if you can declare the employee as abandoning the job and if that now means the car is stolen.

Remember that if there is no agreement of the loan in writing then it becomes your word against theirs, so perhaps this thread should disappear if that makes your case easier to make?




Richard rich.ms

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  #1471147 14-Jan-2016 17:30
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Registered owner does not equal legal owner. However the registered owner does accept some responsability for the vehicle, for joe-public this mostly means parking tickets and speed camera tickets. They will also be the first port of call and have legal responsibilities to identify the driver in the event of a police investigation. I suspect the insurance investigator is just trying to identify the responsible parties and this is just part of routine enquiries. There is nothing to report to police. You can lodge a change of ownership with the NZTA without the current owner, which I would advise.




Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity - Robert J Hanlon



mclean
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  #1471217 14-Jan-2016 18:15
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You don't say whether your husband had any insurance on the car and whether that insurance provided any cover when the employee was driving.  That's what the insurance guy will be interested in.  Obviously if the vehicle is insured you need to tell the insurer.

Geektastic
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  #1472302 15-Jan-2016 23:23
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I'd report the car as stolen myself (after I'd left the ex employee a message on his phone giving him 24 hrs to pay the balance or return the vehicle).





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