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Liability after a car accident

Like most in Kern County, you likely take a second to pause and contemplate your decision before handing the keys to your vehicle off to another. The stories of several of those that we here at McKnight, McKnight, McKnight, and McKnight Attorneys at Law have worked with may justify your hesitancy, as these people have often had to account for much more than just scratched paint and dented bumpers after loaning their cars out to others.

Imagine, for a moment, that you are involved in a car accident where the other driver is clearly at fault. It is soon discovered that driver does not own the vehicle that he or she struck you with. If he or she is not covered under the insurance of the driver who owns the car, and your insurance is insufficient to meet total cost of your accident expenses, what are you to do?

If the driver at fault in your accident does not have access to the resources to help you, you could seek compensation from the person that loaned him or her the vehicle. California law does allow liability to be assigned to a third party due to the negligent entrustment of a motor vehicle. According to the California Civil Jury Instructions, the following must be proven for this legal doctrine to apply to your case:

  •          The driver was negligent in his or her operation of the vehicle.
  •          The owner was still in direct possession of the vehicle involved in the accident.
  •          The driver had the owner's permission to drive it.
  •          The owner was aware of that the driver was unfit to operate the vehicle.
  •          The driver’s unfitness did indeed cause your accident.

 You can learn more about assigning liability following a car accident by continuing to explore our site.


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305 Truxtun Avenue Bakersfield, CA 93301 Toll Free: 866-491-5562 Phone: 661-578-5669 Bakersfield Law Office Map