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Who is held responsible in a car crash – the driver or the owner of the car?

Suppose you were riding in a car which met with an accident. You got hurt in that crash. Now, after inspecting, you find out that the person driving the car is not the owner of the car. How will this have an impact on your rights as the victim of an accident? Will the driver owe you money for the damages? Or is the owner of the car who should be held liable?

Well, the answer to this is ‘it depends’. Since each case is unique, either or both the driver and the owner may be charged with legal liability for the injuries you endured. The most reliable way of finding out more about your rights is by contacting a Spokane injury attorney. Let’s take a look at the factors that contribute to deciding who should be held liable for an accident – the driver or the owner?

Determining the accountability for a car crash

What does an attorney mean when he says ‘liability’ of a car accident? Well, he means the obligation of paying for the losses, damages, and injuries suffered by the victim of the accident. Here are a few factors that come into play:

Who is to be blamed for the accident?

The party which is at fault for the collision owes monetary compensation to anyone who has sustained injuries. Negligence is the biggest fault and it occurs when:

  • Someone acted in an unacceptably dangerous way
  • The dangerous actions lead to an injury of another person
  • The injury is of such a type that it can be compensated financially or through other legal relief forms

The duty of care expected from a driver is violated when he unnecessarily speeds, drives under the influence of alcohol, or drives while texting on a mobile phone.

Will the car owner be held responsible for the accident?

Both the driver and the car owner, regardless of their differences, are all covered through insurance companies. Due to this, in case of an accident, the owner isn’t held liable for a crash made by his family member or friend. But the insurance coverage of the car owner can have compensation for the driver.

Hence, if the owner of a car lends his vehicle to a friend of his and the friend meets with an accident that leads to an injury to a third person, the insurance of the car owner should also cover the person who is injured.

In any accident, the owner isn’t responsible for the incidents that may occur if the car has been stolen or in case of unauthorized use of the car. Only in those cases where the owner of the car gave consent to the driver to use the car, the vehicle is covered through the insurance coverage of the owner and obtain compensation.

Hence, it is vital to choose a reliable personal injury attorney who can walk you through the process of personal injury process.

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