Missoula, MT asked in DUI / DWI, Car Accidents and Insurance Defense for Georgia

Q: Need help

My wife's brother left his vehicle at a person's house so that a flat tire could be repaired, but found out that it had been taken by a family member under the influence of drugs and who did not inform the owner of the vehicle thus did not have consent. She then drove it ending with her getting into a head on accident with another vehicle that had 4 children in it, all for were injured. In the end she stole the vehicle correct? The family member that took the car died in the crash. So will the owner which is not the brother, going to be liable?

2 Lawyer Answers
Kelly Case
Kelly Case
Answered
  • Johns Creek, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: I believe you are asking if someone who took another's vehicle without consent and was involved in a serious accident, would the owner of the vehicle be liable? If that is your question, then yes, the owner could certainly be held liable under certain circumstances. There is no "yes" or "no" answer to this question. The details are the most important thing but I can certainly imagine a likely scenario whereby the owner is held liable for the accident even though they were not driving and the driver did not have their permission to drive the vehicle. Best I can say is that it could be possible for the owner to be found liable.

Good luck!

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Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Wyomissing, PA

A: Assuming it was at someone else's place,and it sounds like the person who did the wreck--call her driver--calimed she had owners permission, then 1) not necessarily wrong of the person it was left with to give it to driver, if he had reason to believe driver had permission. If driver appeared intox, then repairer should not have let her have it. 2) Owner not at fault if he didn't give driver permission. Owners insurance will get an attorney to defend him Owner should suggest to the lawyer that the lawyer point the bereaved family's attorney in the direction of a crashworthiness case.Owner should not give statements until he has a lawyer from the insurance company. He needs to tell insurance company he needs it now as police, others may be asking him to give statements. If company won't give him a lawyer he should get one before talking to police, others.

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