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Liability of automobile owner for accidend caused by someone driving the car WITHOUT permission


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#1 mapesq

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 06:21 PM

In California, is the owner of an automobile liable for damages caused by someone driving the car without the owner's permission?

#2 LegalwriterOne

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:09 PM

The person who is liable is the driver.

#3 adjusterjack

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:38 AM

In California, is the owner of an automobile liable for damages caused by someone driving the car without the owner's permission?


Depends on the circumstances.

Example: Someone hotwires the car, drives off and causes an accident. Owner obviously not responsible.

Example: Member of household (or guest) picks up keys from the table, drives off causes an accident, has been known by the owner to have done this in the past but owner failed to secure the keys. Owner might be responsible.

We need a lot more detail to make any kind of useful comment.

And, by the way, if the owner turns out not to be responsible it doesn't prevent somebody from suing the owner anyway, which is a good reason to have insurance.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.


#4 pg1067

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:00 AM

The first response obviously doesn't address the question asked (unless the intent was to imply that the answer can never be yes, in which case it is wrong). I agree with the second response that the answer is "maybe" and that anything more specific requires some factual details.

#5 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:39 PM

Hard to determine without having the detailed facts of the situation. You may want to consult with a local California Lawyer to discuss your specific case.




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