Many Houstonians lend their automobiles to others. A good number of these people give little thought to letting a family member or friend borrow their car to run an errand or for some other reason. The stark reality is that there can be serious consequences to permitting someone to use your car, even for something as simple as a quick trip to the grocery store or a similar jaunt. If an accident should occur, the generous car owner could bear legal liability for damages resulting from the incident. Speak to a car accident lawyer in Houston today if you require assistance with a claim.
Identity of Driver
When it comes to determining legal responsibility for an accident in a borrowed car, there are several factors that are considered. One of the most important considerations is the identity of the driver. If the person driving the car at the time of the accident is listed on the insurance policy as an authorized driver, the person who borrowed the vehicle would be responsible for damages arising from an accident he or she caused. With that said, insurance coverage would extend to that driver in a manner similar to that of the owner.
Owner’s Express Permission
The owner’s permission to use the car is another crucial factor. If the borrower did not have permission to use the car, then he or she may be held liable for the damages. This means that if someone takes a car without permission and gets into an accident, that individual would be responsible for any damages or injuries that result. However, a vehicle owner must take reasonable steps to prevent unauthorized individuals from driving an automobile without permission to do so.
Purpose of Trip
The purpose of the trip is also taken into consideration when determining who may or may not be legally responsible for the consequences of a car accident. If the borrower was using the car for business purposes, then the borrower’s employer may be held responsible for the damages. This means that if someone is using your car for work purposes and gets into an accident, their employer could be held liable for the damages.
If a car owner lends a vehicle to run errands on behalf of that borrower, the owner is highly likely to be held liable for damages and injuries arising from an accident. Depending on the specific facts surrounding the accident, the borrower may also bear legal responsibility for damages, losses, and injuries that are sustained.
Illegal activities are also a factor to consider. If the borrower was engaged in any illegal activities at the time of the accident, then he or she may be held liable for the damages. For example, if someone is driving your car while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and gets into an accident, they would be held responsible for any damages or injuries that result. However, if the owner of the vehicle is aware of a borrower’s propensity to drive while under the influence, the owner might also be deemed legally responsible for damages and injuries associated with an accident.
Condition of Vehicle
The condition of the car is another factor that may be taken into account. If the car was not properly maintained, and this contributed to the accident, then the owner may be held responsible for the damages. If a car is not in good condition and the owner has knowledge of this fact and lets someone else use the vehicle nonetheless, that automobile owner can be held liable for damages, losses, and injuries associated with an accident somehow deemed connected to a lack of proper maintenance.
Consult a Houston Car Accident Lawyer
When determining legal responsibility for an accident in a borrowed car, it is important to consult with legal counsel to fully understand your rights and responsibilities in these situations. The process of ascertaining legal liability can be highly complicated. A Houston personal injury attorney from The Doan Law Firm can provide you with a no-cost and no-obligation case evaluation to assist in determining the extent of your liability. You can connect with The Doan Law Firm any time by calling us at (800) 349-0000.
The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee pledge to you. We guarantee that our firm will never charge an attorney fee unless we win your case for you.