What Happens If I Let Someone Drive My Car and They Have An Accident?
People lend their vehicles to family and friends all the time. Few give any consideration to what would happen if an accident happens while someone else is driving your vehicle.
Section 192 of Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act provides that the owner of a motor vehicle is liable for any damages caused to any person by reason of negligence in the operation of the motor vehicle. This means that if you lend your car to a friend and your friend runs a red light and seriously injures the occupants of another vehicle, you will be named as a defendant in a lawsuit for damages. This might seem unfair but it is a long-standing principle of Ontario law. The only exception is where the vehicle is being driven by a person without the owner’s consent.
The way to protect yourself from liability in the event of an accident involving your vehicle (whether you are driving or someone else is driving) is to make sure that you have adequate insurance. It costs very little to increase your insurance from $1 million to $2 million or more. The higher your insurance limits are, the less likely that you will be personally exposed to having your assets seized in the event that your vehicle is involved in a collision in which someone suffers serious injuries.
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