car owner letting someone else drive car

Did you know that the owner of a car could be held responsible for a Middletown, RI car accident even if they were not driving? Most vehicle owners do not think about this and it is common for them to allow other people, such as their friends or family members, to use their vehicle. Suppose that person takes the vehicle and gets into an accident. In Rhode Island, when an owner gives permission to another driver to use their vehicle, they could also be responsible if that driver causes an accident, even if they were not there.

Why Is The Owner Responsible?

Letting Others Use Your CarThe owner could be responsible under a legal concept called vicarious liability. This means that one person is responsible for the actions of another person because of the relationship between the two. The idea is that the owner had the right, ability or duty to control the other driver by either allowing them or denying them permission to use the vehicle. Under this concept, the owner is held responsible because they were the ones that had control over the vehicle and allowed another person to use it. The purpose behind these types of law is to make vehicle owners more responsible when they allow others to use their vehicle and also encourage them to have the appropriate amount of insurance coverage. If they do not, then the law holds them responsible.

Who Should Not Drive My Car?

Generally, you should not allow anyone that you do not want to be responsible for, if they get into an accident, to use your car. In everyday life, this is often overlooked. An owner might allow their family member to pick something up with their vehicle. If they get into an accident along the way, the owner might be partly responsible for any injuries and damages. Additionally, parents who allow their children to drive their car should make sure that the driver is responsible and adequate insurance has been obtained. The same applies for employers who allow their employees to drive their cars.

Why Does This Matter?

courtroom for a case about letting others use your carHolding the vehicle owner responsible for a Middletown car accident can affect you in two ways. First, if you are the owner, you could be held responsible for injuries and damages that result from a car accident when someone borrows your car. Conversely, if someone gets into an accident with you, that owner might also be responsible for the car accident. For example, someone borrows a car and gets into an accident with you. There might be injury and losses to you but you face challenges seeking compensation because the driver does not have adequate insurance. In this situation, the owner of the vehicle, under their insurance, might also be responsible for compensating you. A Middletown car accident lawyer could help you assess the situation and explain your options.

Speak With A Middletown Car Accident Lawyer

Middletown Car Accident LawyerIf you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, contact one of our experienced Middletown car accident lawyers located at 1521 West Main Road, Middletown, RI 02842. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, among other losses. No fees are received unless you win your case. For a free (no obligation) case evaluation, call us at 401-846-5499 or toll free at 1-800-992-6878. You may also fill out our contact form online.

Author Photo

Paul d’Oliveira

Attorney Paul d’Oliveira has been practicing personal injury and disability law for over 30 years. He started his personal injury law practice in 1989 with two offices in Fall River, MA and East Providence, RI. Today his firm has 15 offices in RI and Southeastern, MA.

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