AmI financially responsible for someone else having an accident in my car?

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AmI financially responsible for someone else having an accident in my car?

Someone else had an accident while driving my car. Who is financially responsiable for damages caused?

Asked on February 27, 2012 under Accident Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the car were stolen or otherwise taken without your permission, you would not generally be responsible for injuries or damage to third parties, absent special cirucmstances (e.g. you were so very negligent, or careless, in how you kept the vehicle that you basically "invited" or faciliated the theft--e.g. keys in ignition).

However, when you give someone persmission to use your car, you, as the car's owner, could potentially be held liable by third parties (e.g. other drivers) for any damages or injuries; the driver of your vehicle can also be held liable for any damages. You  would both be potentially liable to the degree the person driving your car was at fault--for example, driving negligently or careless.

If the only damage was to your own vehicle, then the driver would be liable if he or she were at fault--so again, if he or she were driving negliigently or carelessly (speeding; went through stop light; texting while driving; driving recklessly; etc.). If he or she were not at fault, then he or she would not be responsible for the damage or costs, however.


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