Is a dealership liable if they let a car drive off the lot with no insurance?

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Is a dealership liable if they let a car drive off the lot with no insurance?

My father was hit and killed by a hit and run driver , he was walking on the side of the road. The man who hit my father had leased a car a week before he hit my father. He did not have any insurance and did not prove he had any when he got the car from the dealership. My father and the man had no insurance at the time of the incident. Is the dealership liable and allowed to let someone lease a car without proving insurance?

Asked on February 6, 2017 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Legally, it is not required for a seller (in this case the dealership) of a car to make sure that it is insured before the buyer takes possession and drives off with it. Accordingly, the dealership bears no liability in this case. That having been said, there may still be a lawsuit here. You should consult directly with a personal injury attorney who specializes in wrongful death suits. They can best advise you further and an intial consultation is typically free.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, the dealership is not liable: the law does not require the *seller* of a car to insure it is insured; that obligation falls on the buyer. The person who hit your father is liable if he was (as is very likely) driving negligently or carelessly; regardless of whether he had insurance or not, he can be personally sued.


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