If I got into a car accident In a dealerships car am I held accountable for the damages .

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If I got into a car accident In a dealerships car am I held accountable for the damages .

The dealership has had my car for over a
month now . And I am driving one of there
other cars until mine is fixed . They sold me a
broken car. So I slid into a snow bank while Im
the temporary car and the bumper is now
messed up. They dont have snow tires or
anything on this temporary car . Is this still my
fault ?

Asked on January 7, 2018 under Accident Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It depends on whether you were driving too fast for conditions (for the road conditions and weather condition) and for the type of car and how it was set up (including the lack of snow tires; you have to adjust your driving to the nature of the vehicle you are driving and its handling characteristics), and also whether you were otherwise driving carelessly or negligently (e.g. distractedly, such as by texting while driving). If you were driving too fast for conditions or the car, or otherwise driving carelessly, then you were at fault  and therefore are liable. (To emphasize a point above: you cannot blame the dealership based on a lack of snow tires, since you have to drive appropriately for the car you are in.)
On the other hand, if you were not at fault--you driving carefully, appropriately, and safely, but still got into an accident--then you would not be liable and would not have to pay.
Liability therefore depends on fault.

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