There are an unlimited number of reasons you may let a friend or relative drive your car. Perhaps your friend is the designated driver for the evening, and yours is the only vehicle that can hold all of your friends. Or maybe your cousin’s car broke down and she needs to borrow yours in order to get to work. Whatever the reason, it is important to know that you may be liable for any accidents your friend or relative causes while behind the wheel of your vehicle.
I am liable if someone causes an accident in my car?
In California, if you give permission for someone to use your car, the California Vehicle Code § 17150 states, “Every owner of a motor vehicle is liable and responsible for death or injury to person or property resulting from a negligent or wrongful act or omission in the operation of the motor vehicle, in the business of the owner or otherwise, by any person using or operating the same with the permission, express or implied, of the owner. “ Implied permission means that even if you didn’t verbally give permission, under some circumstances it can be inferred that you permitted another person to drive the car (i.e. by handing the person your car keys). Before discussing any details with an insurance adjuster, speak with an experienced auto accident attorney about your rights.
What happens if I am hit by someone who isn’t the owner of the car?
What happens when you are involved in a car accident with a driver who is not the owner of the vehicle? Not surprisingly, this scenario happens quite often. Whether the person is an employee driving an employer’s car or a teen driving his parent’s car, if you are injured in an accident you have legal rights. The right personal injury lawyer will work on your behalf to explore all potential sources of liability, including the vehicle owner’s. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether the driver was given permission to use the vehicle or whether s/he snuck off with the car without notifying the owner. Regardless, if you have been injured by a driver’s negligent actions, know that attorney Barry P. Goldberg and California law are on your side.
For more information on auto accidents and non-owner drivers and your potential for financial recovery, contact Woodland Hills accident lawyer Barry P. Goldberg today for a free consultation.