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In: Auto Accidents

Who is Liable When a Crash Occurs in a Borrowed Vehicle?

If someone crashes a borrowed vehicle, who’s liable? This question comes up often, as it’s quite common for people to get into wrecks while behind the wheel of someone else’s vehicle.  Unfortunately, however, like many legal questions, the answer isn’t clear-cut. In fact, there are a number of questions that must be asked when determining liability for accidents that occur in borrowed vehicles, including:

  • Did the driver have permission to use the vehicle? Permission is a huge factor in determining whether a driver or owner is liable for an accident that occurs in a borrowed vehicle. If a driver who wrecks a car or truck had permission to use the vehicle, then the owner faces potential liability. However, if someone were to steal a vehicle and get into an accident, it is highly unlikely that the owner would held liable for the resulting damages.
  • What is the driver’s household status? If the driver involved in a wreck in a borrowed vehicle is included on the vehicle owner’s insurance, then any damages will be covered as if the owner was the one driving.
  • Who was at fault for the accident? If the person driving a borrowed car or truck isn’t at fault for an accident that he or she is involved in, then the driver of the other vehicle is typically liable for any damages that are sustained. However, this issue is complicated by the fact that Florida has a no-fault accident policy. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney when involved in an automobile accident of any kind.
  • Is the driver excluded from the owner’s insurance policy? If the driver of a borrowed vehicle is explicitly excluded from the owner’s insurance policy and gets into an accident, then the owner may be liable for damages.

At GED Lawyers, LLP, our accident attorneys know how a serious automobile accident can impact your life, so we’re passionate about helping you obtain financial compensation and get your life back on track as quickly as possible. If you’ve been involved in an automobile accident, please call 561-995-1966 or use our online contact form to speak with us in a free case review.