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Who’s Liable in an Accident When You Lend Your Vehicle?

October 6, 2016 | Accident & Injury

A common issue that arises in personal-injury disputes from car accidents in Vancouver is what happens when somebody causes a collision in a car they don’t own. These kinds of incidents happen all the time in a city like Vancouver, a popular destination for friends and family to visit their loved ones where car-borrowing to get around town occurs regularly.

Who is Liable?

The issue also brings up a lot of questions and often causes confusion. For example, what happens in an accident when someone else drives my car? Who is liable for someone else’s negligent driving? And importantly, will I still be protected when injured in an accident caused by a driver who isn’t the registered user of their vehicle? Who is liable in these situations?

An individual could be held liable for somebody else’s negligent driving usually in scenarios that involve vehicle lending.

Owner is Responsible

In British Columbia, ICBC considers a car owner responsible for any insurance expenses and penalties inflicted by somebody else driving their vehicle when that person is deemed to be “at fault” in a motor vehicle accident. Keep in mind that courts and not insurance companies often have the final say in determining fault.

This also means that if you are injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligent driving—even if they aren’t the owner of a vehicle—you can fight for a settlement or a court decision to be compensated for your injuries and lost wages.

Lending cars to friends and family members is an example in which the car owner would incur the insurance liability associated with the vehicle driver’s negligent driving, including expenses to be paid for damages and personal-injury lawsuits. However, insurance companies often offer car owners the option to register certain friends and family members who regularly borrow or use a vehicle as secondary operators.

Lending vehicles to drivers who are impaired, unlicensed or otherwise unfit to drive could also adversely affect your insurance coverage, especially but not necessarily if the action was willful—in other words, the car owner was aware of the driver’s unfit driving status.

Vancouver Car Accident Lawyers

If you are ever injured in a car accident because of a careless driver, ensure your health and well-being is as protected as possible. The personal injury lawyers at Warnett Hallen LLP, rated by Georgia Straight readers as the “best lawyer to call when an accident strikes” are here to help. Contact the Vancouver car accident lawyers at Warnett Hallen LLP. We can assess your situation, guide you through an injury claim and help you settle for more.

The car accident lawyers at Warnett Hallen LLP never defend ICBC or the insurance companies. We represent injured claimants only.

Warnett Hallen LLP. Settle for more. Call today 604-737-3300. Available 24/7.

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