Determining Liability When Car Is Used Without Permission

When a potential client approaches a lawyer with this particular problem, the same lawyer can offer some bad news and some good news. The potential client’s case does not have clear cut answers. A more precise answer can be given to the person that has agreed to let another person drive his or her car. Still, that clear answer is not one that the possible client wants to hear.

If you were to let someone else drive a motor vehicle that you owned, then you would be liable for any damages or injuries that would result, should that same driver proves neglectful. In other words, if that level of neglect became the cause of an accident, you would have to speak with your insurance company. They would need to cover the cost of the damages and injuries, and after that you would be paying a higher premium.

How law looks at reason another person was in your vehicle

An injury lawyer in Lindsay representing the owner that has let someone else sit in the driver’s seat of a vehicle will seek to learn as much as possible about how the vehicle’s keys got in someone else’s hands. What was the nature of the owner’s consent? Did it take the form of a signed agreement, or was it more like an implied consent?

Understand that a car owner’s definition of “drive” does not always match with the legal definition. According to the law the word “driving” has the same meaning as “drive,” and both words have the same meaning as the act of caring for or having control of a vehicle.

In other words, if a lawyer were to say that a client agreed to allow someone to enter a vehicle, then the same agreement might not remove from the vehicle owner the burden of liability. It would all depend on what judge was deciding the case. One judge might believe the act of sitting in an automobile differs from driving it; another judge might have a different view of the situation.

Lawyers know how to seek permission to have a case removed from one judge’s list of cases. The average citizen does not. For that reason, it always pays to make sure that no one else uses your vehicle, unless you have complete confidence in the person that will be given your keys. Hollywood may have given single mothers the wrong idea, concerning the act of lending the keys to the car. However, implied permission differs in case to case basis but anyone not authorized to drive the vehicle and is the reason behind the crash can have a multitude of implications.