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Am I at fault for damages in this car accident?

Westmoreland City, PA |

I owned a car and I was a passenger in the car. If I have no insurance and no valid inspection stickers and my friend driving the car lied to me about having a license in the first place only to find out when the accident happened he did not have a valid license, no car insurance himself and he insanely sped through a major red light intersection causing a 3 car incident. Who is at fault? me or him?

Attorney Answers 7

  1. Your friend is liable for the accident. However, you may also be responsible for lending him your car.

  2. I am not familiar with your state law. In Michigan we have ownership liability. You are also required to have insurance. Consult a local lawyer about those issues. Most of the attorney's will give you a free phone consultation. Good Luck!

  3. You were not careless from your description; your friend was careless. You can be and you should expect to be named as a defendant in any lawsuit filed by anyone hurt by your friend's negligence. The claim against you will be that you "knew" he was a bad driver and let him drive and/or you knew he did not have a license and that he was driving your car at your request to benefit you in some way. You are not liable as in some states like Michigan as I understand it and I believe NY also, just because you own the car. Here some claim of negligence must be made against you.
    (If you were injured you have a claim against the driver for being careless.)
    If you are sued you have trouble. Since you do not have insurance you do not have anyone to appoint you a lawyer paid for by insurance, you do not have a liability limit to be used to possibly settle the claim so that your personal assets are not at risk. Also without insurance, if a money judgment is entered against you, your license can be suspended until the judgment is paid.
    I suggest you pay for an hour of a "personal injury" lawyer's time to discuss your options if you are sued--again since you have no insurance.

    If you feel this is the "best" answer or is "helpful," please indicate. Since I am limited to the information you provide, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the answer. You should seek the advise of an attorney who can explore all aspects of your question. This communication does not form an attorney client relationship.

  4. This is an unfortunate situation you find yourself in. I'm not clear from your description whether your friend was driving your car, or his own. If you were a passenger in his car, it sounds like he was at fault for running the red light. However, if the car was your car, and you let him drive it with you as a passenger, you may be at fault to some extent as well for a cause of action called negligent entrustment as you were may have been aware that your car had no valid inspection sticker and was not insured at the time, but yet permitted him to operate the car.

    I hope this gives you some information into the matter.

    Best of luck.

    Gladys Wiles
    Snyder & Wiles, PC
    7731 Main Street
    Fogelsville, PA 18051

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  5. In the state where I practice, the owner of a car is liable if they loan their car to somebody who negligently causes a crash. You should go talk to a lawyer in your area as soon as possible.

  6. Whether your friend had a license was irrelevant to the fact that you allowed him to drive a car that should not have been on the road with no insurance and no sticker (and no registration, perhaps?) So yes, you could be liable, as would he. Since you had no insurance you will have to pay for your own defense. You should find a lawyer and talk to him or her asap. And you should be prepared to get sued.

    I agree with my colleague, retain a personal injury for an hour or so of his time so you can get an understanding of the legal issues and your rights.

    For a free consultation related to medical malpractice, personal injury, workers' compensation, social security disability or nursing home abuse, please contact Lowenthal & Abrams, PC at 1-800-876-5299. I am licensed in Pennsylvania, but members of my firm are licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. This post is not legal advice, but instead contains general educational information. Please do not act or refrain from acting based upon what you read in this post. Also please remember that this post does not form an attorney/client relationship between you and me. If you have specific legal questions, you should contact an attorney in your state for assistance. I am licensed to practice law in the state of Pennsylvania.

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