Who is liable when a licensed driver allows a learner permit driver to drive their vehicle with liability insurance? 49 Answers as of June 28, 2013

While under a licensed driver's instruction, the learner permitted driver had a collision. The licensed driver has liability insurance. Who is liable?

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Law Office of Charles M. Vacca Jr. | Charles Martin Vacca Jr.
Probably the insured driver, who was overseeing the permitted driver's activity of driving.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/9/2012
Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A.
Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. | Charles Cartwright
Florida follows the dangerous instrumentality doctrine which makes the owner of the vehicle responsible for the negligence of an authorized driver. Thus, the insurance for the owner of the vehicle should respond. In addition, if the driver is a named insured on an insurance policy, that policy should also respond. In the event that the licensed driver in the vehicle did something negligent as well, they may also be responsible.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/9/2012
Gary L. Platt, Attorney at Law | Gary Platt
If the permitted driver is under 18, as a minor he/she cannot be held liable for the accident, so the responsible party is the licensed adult and his/her insurance policy should cover the loss (up to policy limits, of course).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/9/2012
Law Office of Jared Altman
Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
Whoever is responsible for the accident. That driver and the owner.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/8/2012
Law Offices of Stanley S. Lopata
Law Offices of Stanley S. Lopata | Stan Lopata
The driver of an auto in accident is primarily responsible. Parents are responsible for injuries caused by their children; the owner of ANY motor vehicle is responsible up to $15000/30000 for any injury caused be any permissive driver.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/8/2012
    Law Offices of Konstantin D. Gurovich dba GBA LEGAL
    Law Offices of Konstantin D. Gurovich dba GBA LEGAL | Konstantin D. Gurovich, Esq.
    Both parties in question are liable. The registered owner for lending the car is primarily responsible as well as the learners permit driver should have been insured or the car they were driving should have been insured in accordance with California Law. If this is in another state then, the that particular state laws would apply. If you are the victim in the case who was hit and injured. You should speak with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
    Driver and owner under V&T section 388. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    In Michigan an owner of a car is liable for the actions of an individual who drives the car with permission. The driver may also be liable under their own policy.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Sedin Begakis & Bish | Mindy Bish
    First it depends on whose fault it is. Without knowing any of the facts of the accident this is not an easy question to answer. If the permitted driver is a member of the licensed driver's household and was disclosed to the insurance company then the liability coverage would extend to the permitted driver. If the permitted driver was not disclosed then the liability insurance company may not cover the permitted driver. (This assumes that the permitted driver does not have insurance of his or her own. If the permitted driver has his or her own insurance then that insurance company would be the responsible party) If the permitted driver is not a member of the licensed driver's home then there the licensed driver's insurance will provide coverage unless the permitted driver was specifically excluded.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    If the car being driven was the licensed drivers, the licensed driver's insurance would be the primary insurance. The car is being driven by a person with the consent of the owner so that insurance should cover the accident.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    NOLAN LAW LLC | Joshua J. Nolan
    I am unable to answer your question definitively because you did not indicate whether the learner permit driver was actually the cause of the accident or simply a party to the collision. However, the terms of the insurance policy at issue will determine whether or not the policy applies under these circumstances. Generally, the vehicle owner's insurance policy is considered to be the "primary" insurance policy on the vehicle. If the owner of the vehicle does not have insurance or does not have sufficient insurance, the non-related driver's insurance policy will act as "excess" insurance and take effect for damages that exceed the amount of the "primary" policy.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    The driver of a vehicle is always responsible for what happens to the vehicle. Therefore, if a citation were issues for a moving violation, the permitted driver would get the citation. Because the permitted driver was "legally" operating the vehicle with the licensed driver's permission, there is no offense. Since Michigan is a no-fault auto insurance state, any damages to the vehicle would be paid by the insurance company insuring the vehicle. If any injuries occurred to either the permitted or licensed driver, the insurance company insuring the vehicle would also pay for them if there was no other health insurance.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    If the learner lives in the household with the licensed driver, probably both the learner and the licensed driver are liable. The learner is liable because his/her negligence caused the accident. The licensed driver would probably also be liable under a law known as "The Family Purpose Doctrine". Under the family purpose doctrine, if a head of household provides a car to a household member for the use and convenience of family, the head of household is liable for the actions of the family member who is using the car. Insurance should cover any liability for both the learner and the licensed driver, up to the policy limits.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    The owner and operator of the vehicle are both liable. As long as the vehicle is insured, no big deal.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Conway Law Pllc.
    Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
    Well, if she was a permissive user, she is insured by the policy on the car.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Alvin Lundgren | Alvin Lundgren
    The owner of the vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Lee Law Group | Ernest Lee
    Friend: It is always the owner of the vehicle's responsibility to have liability insurance. It usually covers the vehicle. That is, any person residing with the owner is usually covered. However, I am not sure if it covers a learner's permit driver absent the owner specifically calling their insurance company to insure such a contingency. You should first contact your insurance company and see if they cover the learner. If not, your license may be suspended for 6 mths.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Law Offices Charles Garganese, Jr. | Charles Graganese, Jr.
    Typically both the owner and operator of the motor vehicle are liable.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Law Office of Marc June
    Law Office of Marc June | Marc June
    In theory, both share responsibility. The more important fact is that the vehicle owner and licensed driver's motor vehicle insurance provides coverage for the student driver's mistakes.
    Answer Applies to: Alaska
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    Both are likely covered by the same insurance policy. The driver is at fault. The owner of the car will also be liable for any driver with his permission.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    The driver is liable as the negligent driver; the owner is liable under the Owners Liability Statute. As long as the driver was driving with the permission of the owner, and within the limits of the permission, and as long as the insurance included the driver, the insurance company will pay for the damage.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    The insurance that covers the vehicle will be responsible, but any points from the accident goes to the driver @ the time of the accident.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    The owner of the automobile and the licensed driver are both responsible and their insurance if they haven't will defend them and will be required to pay within the limits of their contract.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Timiney Law Firm
    Timiney Law Firm | Leigh Anne Timiney
    Generally, the driver of the vehicle is responsible for any damages that might be caused by the vehicle. Often times, when the driver of the vehicle is not the owner of the vehicle, the owner of the vehicle can be held responsible for damages as well. A claim should be made with the vehicle's insurance carrier for damages.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    Parents are responsible for the actions of their children.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Generally driver first and then the owner of the car driven. It then gets a bit more complex. See and attorney with details for a firm opinion.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Kuhn Firm LLC
    Kuhn Firm LLC | Kevin J. Kuhn
    In Illinois and most other states, insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver. Thus, the person driving the care will be covered under the car owner's insurance policy.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Koning & Jilek, P.C.
    Koning & Jilek, P.C. | Jonathan Neal Jilek
    The owner and the driver may both be liable.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Law Office of James J. Rosenberger | James Joseph Rosenberger
    The "learning" driver is liable for the collision but that assumes he was the direct and proximate cause of the accident. He is likely insured under the auto policy as a permissive user barring an exclusion in the policy covering such instances. The other party allowing him to drive May have some liability as well but more detail is needed to answer that question.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    Both the owner and the driver.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC | Pho Ethan Tran
    The insurance company should be responsible regardless of who was driving.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Lapin Law Offices
    Lapin Law Offices | Jeffrey Lapin
    The actual driver is liable for the accident. In addition, depending on other facts, the licensed driver may also be liable, either for his or her own negligence, or vicariously, for the learner's permit driver. Vicarious liability is when a person is liable for the negligence of another person. As to insurance coverage, the vehicle's insurance coverage is primary. If the learner's permit driver had insurance, which is doubtful, his or her insurance coverage would be secondary. The licensed driver's insurance, depending on whether he or she was negligent or through vicarious liability, would either be secondary or tertiary (3rd). You may want to consider talking to a motor vehicle accident attorney. Most offer a free consultation so you can learn more about your rights and who might be liable.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Doug Rothschild Injury Lawyers
    Doug Rothschild Injury Lawyers | Doug Rothschild
    The driver is generally liable. However, this driver will likely be considered a permissive user under the owners auto policy. That ins coverage should apply to your damages. You should talk to a lawyer about submitting an injury claim to the owners auto ins.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Langer & Langer
    Langer & Langer | Jon Schmoll
    Most auto policies have a provision which states that someone who is operating the vehicle with the permission of the named insured has coverage through the car owner's policy. You should not have to worry about there being coverage on the person with the learner's permit.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    VANJOHNSON LAW FIRM, LLC
    VANJOHNSON LAW FIRM, LLC | Anthony Overton Van Johnson
    In answer to your question, both the driver with the permit, as well as, the owner of the vehicle could be held liable in the accident. The owner of the vehicle may have additional issues if his/her insurance company is not willing to cover the accident and ensuring damages as a result of permitting an unconvered driver to operate the vehicle at the time of the collision. Accordingly, in your scenario, I would assume that the attorney for the injured party would pursue a claim against both the permitted driver, as well as, the owner of the vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Tuttle and Associates | Jeffrey Brook Tuttle
    Potentially both. It isn't a either or situation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/28/2013
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC | Matthew R. Kober
    If the driver had insurance you might be able to use both. Otherwise, the owner of the car's insurance would likely be available for damages.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    Liability insurance or lack thereof does not determine negligence. The negligent person is liable and that may or may not be the learner permit driver. Make a claim with the liability carrier disclosing all eh facts.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Law Offices of Mark Hopkins | Mark Hopkins
    1. Insurance follows the car, for primary insurance purposes. 2. Therefore, the carrier who insured the car should pay any valid claims for damage caused by a permissive driver. 3. The driver's carrier (if any) should furnish the second level of coverage, if needed. 4. The passenger's insurance should furnish the third level of coverage, if needed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Posternak Blankstein & Lund, LLP | Michael Eliot Rubin
    The licensed driver.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/28/2013
    Sam Hochberg & Associates | Sam Hochberg
    In your scenario, the learner's permit driver, if he was negligent and caused the accident, is liable, but the driver's insurance ought to cover it. The licensed driver accompanying the permit driver might be liable as well, depending on the facts of the situation; i.e, if he negligently supervised the student driver. But, it may be a moot point, since they'd likely both be covered under the same policy belonging to the licensed driver of the car. If it is a very serious injury, then theoretically your lawyer may want to look at the personal assets of the driver and other policies, if the damages exceed the insurance policy limits.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Law Offices of Tom Patton
    Law Offices of Tom Patton | Thomas C. Patton
    When a car owner allows their car to be used by another driver (permissive driver), whether licensed or with a permit, the car owner's insurance will cover the loss. The liability is on the part of the driver, by the car owner's insurance provides insurance coverage for the driver's negligent acts.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Frisby Law Firm | Matthew Frisby
    Typically the driver of the vehicle will be liability for any damages he/she may cause. Generally, even a driver with a learner's permit will be covered under the liability policy for the vehicle he/she is operating. It is a very rare occasion in Oklahoma for the owner of the vehicle to be liable, under a negligent entrustment theory, for the acts of the individual actually driving the owner's vehicle. The information here has been prepared for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between the sender and receiver. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Atterbury, Kammer & Haag | Eric J. Haag
    The licensed driver's insurer is responsible, and if the vehicle is owned by another individual, that person's insurer would also be liable.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    The Law Offices of Paul A. Samakow, P.C.
    The Law Offices of Paul A. Samakow, P.C. | Paul A. Samakow
    The licensed driver's insurer is responsible. If a lawsuit ends up being filed, the driver is the one who will be sued upon a verdict against the driver, the licensed driver's insurance will pay it.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    The person who owns the car and the policy and the person who with authorization lets someone else use it.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray | Ronald D. Reemsnyder
    The driver of the vehicle is liable. The insurer on that vehicle should provide coverage to the driver. Your claim would still be against the driver and the driver's insurer would likely then resolve you claim.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/13/2012
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