Do they have a case even if it was neither my son nor I drove? 16 Answers as of April 17, 2013

A friend of my son was driving my son’s car in a very heavy rain fall. The car hydroplaned and hit a guard rail. The state is wanting me, as the owner to pay.

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Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
When a car is being used with permission of the owner, and there is an accident, of course, the driver is responsible, but the owner is also.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/17/2013
Lydy & Moan | C. Gary Wilson
You have a right to sue the son's friend, if he is an adult, to pay for any damages the state may have, as part of the same case in which you were sued by the state. Did you have insurance on the car. If so, turn this over to your insurance to handle. That is what you pay the insurance company to do.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/17/2013
David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
If you car had no insurance, the state can make you pay.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 4/17/2013
John Russo | John Russo
Was your car correct? You are liable you can try going after your sons friend after you pay, but the presumption will be that he had permission to drive the vehicle.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 4/16/2013
Gary L. Platt, Attorney at Law | Gary Platt
Under California Vehicle Code section 17150, the owner of a private vehicle is responsible for damages caused by the vehicle where the vehicle is used with the express or implied permission of the owner. In other words, if your son's car was being used by his friend with his permission, your son is liable as the owner of the car. If your son is a minor and was negligent in allowing his friend to drive the car (usually where your son knows his friend is a bad driver but lets him use it anyway), you might also be held liable as his mother. However, there is a limit to the amount of damages your son can be held liable for under the vehicle code, which is $5,000.00 for property damage. If the damage to the guardrail is the only damage being sought by the state, the most your son might have to pay is $5,000. You need to report the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/16/2013
    Law Office of Christian Menard
    Law Office of Christian Menard | Christian Menard
    Both the owner and driver of a vehicle are financially responsible fur damages caused by the negligent operation of a car. However, as owner, the liability is limited to $15,000. That said, negligence still has to be proven. The fact that a car hydroplanes, by itself, is not necessarily negligence. A car driven at a safe and low speed can still lose control due to hydroplaning. If the car was being driven at an unsafe speed for the wet conditions, that may be negligence. I suggest you turn the matter over to your insurance carrier and let them figure it out. After all, that is why you pay insurance premiums.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/16/2013
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Turn it over to your insurance company and let them worry about it. In Florida, the owner of a car is responsible for the negligent driving of any permissive user of his/her vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/16/2013
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    If the owner of a car consents to someone else driving his car, the owner is responsible, as is the driver, for any damage caused by the negligent acts of the driver.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/16/2013
    The Law Offices of Ajay Kwatra | Ajay Kwatra
    Maybe ask your insurance company about your policy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/16/2013
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    The owner and the operator are liable for its operation. The state will hound you and may jeopardize your license til they are paid. Pay the damage you caused and get on with your life.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 4/16/2013
    David P. Slater, esq.
    David P. Slater, esq. | David P. Slater
    If driving with your son's permission, you, as owner, are liable.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/16/2013
    Johnson & Johnson Law Firm, PLLC | Richard Johnson
    Everyone is responsible for their own torts. Your permissive driver is liable, and the liability collision coverage on your car would be primary. IF your car was not insured at the time, and then if your permissive driver had liability insurance on his own car, then his own car insurance should pay. IF you were not in the car / there is not a family relationship between you and the permissive driver, and you were not negligent in entrusting your car to an incapable / incapacitated driver, then YOU are probably NOT personally liable. You should give this matter to your insurance company right away.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/16/2013
    Conway Law Pllc.
    Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
    Notify your insurance company of the claim and let it handle it.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 4/16/2013
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    In Alabama, only the driver could be held accountable. Your son's insurance should cover the accident if his friend was at fault, as long as your son's friend was a permissive driver. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/16/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Yes, they have a case. You have the option of collecting from your son's friend, however.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/16/2013
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