Can the owner of a vehicle be held liable if a family member drives their vehicle without their permission and causes an accident?

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Can the owner of a vehicle be held liable if a family member drives their vehicle without their permission and causes an accident?

Asked on June 3, 2012 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

B Elaine Jones / The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Florida has what is called "The Dangerous Instrumentality Rule", which basically says that if you let someone use your car and they are involved in an accident, you are jointly and severally liable for the injuries and damages that result.  The tricky part of your question is a family member drives the car without permission.  It would come down to being able to prove that you did not give the family member permission.  If the family member resides with you or drives your car alot you are going to have difficulty proving you did not give them permission.  


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