If an individual borrows a vehicle and subsequently causes an accident, there may be a question of who can be held liable for the damage that results. Mississippi motorists should be aware that if their vehicle is lent to someone who later gets into an accident, they may be held financially, and in some cases criminally, responsible.
In most states and situations, if the owner of a vehicle has insurance, the insurance will follow the car. This means that the insurance of the owner will be applied as primary coverage up to the limit of the policy if a vehicle accident occurs. If necessary, the driver's insurance would be applied as secondary insurance.
The owner of a borrowed vehicle may not be held liable for damage caused by the vehicle in certain cases. They include if the owner did not give the driver permission to operate the vehicle or if the driver is explicitly excluded on the insurance policy.
The owner of a vehicle may be held liable if he or she allows someone to borrow the vehicle with the knowledge that the individual was impaired, such as with alcohol or drug consumption, or both. He or she could be held both civilly and criminally responsible. The same applies if the owner allows an unlicensed driver to operate the vehicle and that person subsequently gets into an accident.
A personal injury attorney may assist clients who are injured in car crashes by working to identify the parties that should be held financially responsible. This may entail a lawsuit against a negligent driver or owner, or a manufacturer of a defective auto part. Compensation could be sought for pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses.