The costs of medical care are staggering. When a Poughkeepsie area resident
is involved in a motor vehicle crash, medical bills will begin to mount
immediately. Health insurance may help defray some of the costs, but all
costs will not be covered. Other forms of insurance may not sufficiently
compensate the victim. The injured motorist can certainly sue the driver
in order to receive compensation. But what if the driver has no money?
Experienced Poughkeepsie car accident attorneys help injured victims in many ways. One way is by reviewing the facts of
a car crash and determining who can be held liable for the victim’s
injuries. In instances of car accidents, not only can the driver be sued,
but the owner of the vehicle can be sued too.
In fact, the law in New York states, “every owner of a vehicle used
or operated in this state shall be liable and responsible for death or
injuries to person or property resulting from negligence in the use of
operation of such vehicle, in the business of such owner or otherwise,
by any person using or operating the same with the permission, express
or implied, of such owner.”
This is the permissive use doctrine embodied withinNew York Vehicle and Traffic Law section 388. When a car owner loans their vehicle to another person, that owner can
be held liable if the driver negligently hurts people with the vehicle.
Note, however, that the owner must have consented to the driver’s
use of the car. Such consent can be expressly given or it can be implied.
Courts will presume that the driver had express or implied consent to
use the owner’s vehicle. But the owner is given the opportunity
to prove that the driver did not have permission to use the vehicle.
To illustrate this point, consider the case of Bost v. Thomas. In this
case the car owner was home asleep when three of her friends/guests took
her car out. They negligently caused a
car accident. The court held that the owner was not liable because she did not give
the drivers permission to use the car.
In another case, Panteleon v. Amaya, the car owner let another person drive
his vehicle. The driver was not allowed to let others take the vehicle.
But another person took the car keys and drove the car. On appeal, the
court declared that the owner could not be held liable.
We mention these cases because permissive use will be a contentious issue
when suing a car owner for harms caused by the vehicle driver. Experienced
Poughkeepsie car accident attorneys know how to win these battles.
Learn more about who to sue and important concepts to know regarding New
York car accidents in
our latest article posted here.
Our personal injury attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious car accidents, particularly
throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.