Is an uninsured owner of a vehicle still protected under their state’s limitation of liability if he lends a car to a friend and the friend gets into an accident?

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Is an uninsured owner of a vehicle still protected under their state’s limitation of liability if he lends a car to a friend and the friend gets into an accident?

However, the friend had bought insurance for the car and self but expenses exceed coverage.

Asked on September 28, 2012 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The registered owner of the vehicle is liable for the accident caused by the friend driving the vehicle.   Since the insurance wasn't sufficient to cover the claim, the other party in the accident, who was not at fault, could sue both the registered owner of the vehicle and the driver of the vehicle for negligence.  The lawsuit would include property damage and personal injury.  The property damage is the cost of repairs to the vehicle driven by the party who was not at fault in the accident.  The personal injury claim would include medical bills, pain and suffering, and wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

The registered owner of the vehicle could sue the driver of his/her vehicle for negligence and could recover the amount of the judgment against the registered owner.  The registered owner's lawsuit against the friend who was driving the vehicle should include compensaton for the property damage to the registered owner's vehicle.


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