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

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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

Asked on March 12, 2016 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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