who is liable for a car accident, the driver or the owner.

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who is liable for a car accident, the driver or the owner.

my car was hit in a parking lot and the driver took off but was caught on camera. the sheriff found driver later that night but he was not the owner of the truck and the truck did not have insurance. both parties refuse to pay for damages. my car is not drivable and have had to have a rental car since February 29th. are they also responsible for rental fees as well as damages,

Asked on April 30, 2018 under Accident Law, Montana

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The registered owner of the truck is liable; however, in your lawsuit for negligence, you should name both the registered owner and the driver as defendants.  The registered owner is liable for the property damage to your vehicle and your rental car bills.  Upon prevailing in the case, you can also recover court costs which include the court filing fee and process server fee.  You can enforce a court judgment with a wage garnishment.
Prior to filing a lawsuit, check with your insurance company to see if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance carrier to receive compensation for your property damage.  Your insurance carrier will sue the at-fault party (registered owner and driver of the truck) to recover the amount it paid on your claim.
 
 


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