Am I held responsible for someone else driving my car and if they get into an accident

My car was involved in a hit and
run. I wasn’t in the car, a friend
of mine was. All I know is that it
happened in West Pottsgrove
township.

Asked on March 12, 2016 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you are liable unless the person driving the car stole it--but to make that claim, you'd have to actually have reported the car as stolen to the police, be pressing charges, and be credible about it. A person is not resonsible for what thieves later do with their property.
If you gave the friend permission to drive, you are civilly liable for any injuries or damage he causes, if he were at fault: that is, if he was driving carelessly (negligently) or recklessly, was DUI/DWI, or intentionally hit someone, you could be sued for all the medical costs, property (e.g. car) damage, for pain and suffering for siginficant injuries, for lost wages if the victim can't work, etc. You would not be criminally liable, however, for the hit-and-run: your friend could potentially be prosecuted for that, but not you.


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