California  |  Civil Litigation

Legal Question

Asked on: 8/31/13, 11:04 am

Is a person liable if he lets someone drive his car and that person has an accident?

There was something called the "deep pocket" rule where the assets of the owner of something is gone after. I know the answer might be - sure, anyone can sue anyone for anything, but what is the history or precedent, what is the law, if any.

This is just a "what if" question.

3 Answers


Answered on: 8/31/13, 12:14 pm by Anthony Roach

California has a form of vicarious liability in which the owner of a car is liable if he or she lets someone else drive his or her car and gets into an accident. It is called the "permissive user" doctrine. (Veh. Code, 17150.)

There is a general cap on liability under the permissive user doctrine, however. Owner liability under Vehicle Code section 17150 has a general maximum dollar limit of $15,000 per injured person, $30,000 per occurrence if more than one person is injured, and $5,000 for property damage. (Veh. Code, 17151; see also Veh. Code 17155.)


Did you find this answer helpful?

0 Users found this answer helpful.

0 Attorneys agree with this answer.


Law Office of Anthony A. Roach 9909 Topanga Canyon, Ste.313 Chatsworth, CA 91311

Other answers from this attorney

Answered on: 8/31/13, 12:25 pm by Timothy McCormick

There are special laws for motor vehicles that make the registered owner jointly and severally liable with the driver if the driver causes an accident. It is connected to the law that every registered owner must carry insurance on their vehicles. In theory, at least, this means there will always be insurance coverage to compensate the innocent party even if the driver isn't insured. This is different from the usual rule that only a person who contributes to the harm may be held liable. For example, if you loan someone a chainsaw and they cut down a tree that falls on someone's car, you are not liable unless you did something more that contributed to the accident, such as advising him incorrectly how to cut trees. Either way, it has nothing to do with deep pockets which is a strategic rule for lawyers (if more than one person is liable focus on the one(s) with money who can pay, not defendants who have no money). It is not a rule if law.


Did you find this answer helpful?

0 Users found this answer helpful.

0 Attorneys agree with this answer.


Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services 201 Spear St., Suite 1100 San Francisco, CA 94105

Other answers from this attorney

Answered on: 8/31/13, 12:40 pm by John Laurie

I agree with the above


Did you find this answer helpful?

0 Users found this answer helpful.

0 Attorneys agree with this answer.


Gertz and Laurie 18321 Ventura Boulevard Suite 900 Tarzana, CA 91356

Other answers from this attorney

Didn't find what you were looking for? Ask an Attorney!

Get answers from the top Attorneys
Ask Question

125 Answers given in the last few hours.

8663 Active attorneys ready to answer your question

Search Past Answers:
  Advanced Search