If someone else was driving my father’s car and got into an accident 2 years ago but they are now deceased, who will be liable?

UPDATED: Aug 30, 2014

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If someone else was driving my father’s car and got into an accident 2 years ago but they are now deceased, who will be liable?

Will it be the now deceased driver’s estate or my father who had the vehicle. The car was insured.

Asked on August 30, 2014 under Accident Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Both the deceased's estate and your father could be liable. A person injured (or whose property is damaged) in an accident may sue both or either of the at-fault driver or the person who owned the car and who let the at-fault driver drive it. (Unless the car had been stolen: a car's owner is not responsible for the acts of a criminal who stole his/her car without permission). The injured person can decide which to sue, and either the driver or the owner can be liable for the full amount. If the injured person only sues one of the potentially liable parties, that party can in turn sue the other one who may be liable to force them to contribute. If your father had insurance, then if he is sued, his insurance should step in to defend and/or pay for him, at least up to the limit of the policy.

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