Your instincts are correct. Assuming the driver had permission to drive the vehicle (and I would assume this if the owner was in the car!), then the owner's insurance should cover any and all damages you seek up to their policy amounts. I suggest you contact the owner and request that he or she turn it over to his or her insurer.
Steven A. Schwartz
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The vehicle will cover it. If your insurance paid your insurance company will get your deductible back for you. If not you need to go after vehicle. If you have the vin you can find out the insurance through any attorney.
The owner's insurance company is responsible for the negligence of a permissive driver. In fact they are responsible for any personal injuries you may have sustained. If the driver also has insurance on a car he owns, that insurance will also come into play. If you were injured or if they will not pay your property damage call and attorney without delay.
This answer is a public service and not an attempt to solicit business. Jonathan Groff’s practice is devoted to all aspects of personal injury litigation throughout Florida. He has a “10.0 Superb” rating from AVVO and is rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell. However, this reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raise then I have set out in my brief reply. Further, unless your matter concerns Florida law, I am not licensed to practice or give specific legal advice in your state.
I would make the claim with the owners and drivers insurance and see what their position will be.
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Legal Disclaimer: Keith Ligori is licensed to practice law in the State and Federal Courts of Florida. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Ligori strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in order to ensure proper advice is received. To learn more about The Law Offices of Keith Ligori, please call our firm toll free at 888.254.7119 or visit www.keithligorilaw.com
You are correct, the driver is liable to you for his negligence. The owner may be liable to you as well under a theory of agency. There may even be liability to you from the owner of the boat which was being transported if he employed an inadequate company to move his boat.
In Florida, a vehicle is considered a dangerous instrumentality. This means that the owner will always be "on the hook" for damages caused involving the car. Explosives and guns are likewise considered dangerous instrumentalities. In other words, if you lend these kinds of items to a friend, and someone gets hurt, you as the owner may be liable.
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