If someone is driving a car registered to me without my knowing and crashes, am I responsible?

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If someone is driving a car registered to me without my knowing and crashes, am I responsible?

Asked on December 17, 2012 under Accident Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you can show that not only did not know about this particular time he/she drove your car, but that he/she did not have permission to drive it and was either not a legal driver (so, an underage child) or not a member of your household (so not someone living with you, with access to the car), then you may have a good defense to liability. But if this person was a member of  your household, was someone who you've loaned your car to previously or who has a spare set of your keys for emergenices (so they have access to the car), then you probably are liable; the person would most likely be treated effectively as if he/she were a  permitted or authorized driver, even if you did not know they took the car this time.


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