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Young man to pay all damages in a car accident he didn't cause
Hi following happened to my nephew:
1. My nephew loaned his car to a friend who subsequently caused an accident involving two cars, a garden wall and personal injury to someone in one of the the cars.
2. my nephew was not in the car and did not cause the accident or have
anything to do with it and the driver was convicted of dangerous driving.
3. All injured parties sought damages from my nephews motor insurance company.
4. The motor insurance company is now holding my nephew (the policy holder) responsible for personally settling all claims made against the policy as he should not have loaned out the car.
5. If my nephew does not pay the sum (nearly 30K)within 28 days legal action will be taken against him by his own insurance company.
Can you advise me whether
a. my nephew is resonsible for these damages?
b. what he would have to do to reclaim these sums from the driver of the vehicle who actually caused the accident?
a. Probably not: Your nephew must be negligent on loaning the car. The negligence here has to be something like: the driver was drunk, your nephew knew about it, but still handed the keys. Your nephews actions have to be more than simply loaning a car with no insurance. However, he can still be “secondarily liable.” Some states allow plaintiff to recover from the owner (registered owner) of vehicle. Some states will hold the driver and owner jointly and severely liable for the accident. It depends on your jurisdiction
b. Well, that is a complicated issue because it would have to depend on how much negligent our nephew was in the first place. Your jurisdiction might split or bar recovery at certain percentage. If he is entitled to recovery them, you can seek a judgment and enforce it against any possible assets he might have.
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