Permissive Use Accidents & Personal Injuries

Published on January 23rd, 2024

What happens if you are using a friend or acquaintance’s vehicle to run an errand for that person and you get into an accident or injured? The legal terminology for this type of situation is often referred to as permissive use. 

Permissive use refers to any situation where the owner of a vehicle allows another person to use their vehicle with permission. In the context of an accident or injury during an errand, legal issues may arise regarding liability, insurance coverage, and potential claims.

Let’s take a deeper dive on what everyone should know before using someone else’s vehicle to run errands or work.

Permissive Use Doctrine

The permissive use doctrine generally holds that when the owner of a vehicle gives permission for someone else to use it, the permissive user is considered an authorized driver, and the owner’s insurance may cover accidents that occur during that use.

Non-Owner Liability

If the person using the vehicle with permission is involved in an accident, the vehicle owner may be held liable for the actions of the permissive user. This is based on the legal concept that the owner entrusted the vehicle to the permissive user.

Insurance Coverage

The owner’s auto insurance policy may provide coverage for the permissive user, depending on the terms and conditions of the policy. However, coverage may vary, and it’s essential to review the insurance policy to understand the extent of coverage.

Named Driver Exclusion

Some insurance policies have named driver exclusions, which specify individuals who are not covered by the policy even if they have permission to use the vehicle. If a named driver exclusion applies, the insurance coverage may not extend to the permissive user.

Negligent Entrustment

In certain cases, if the owner knowingly allows an incompetent or unfit driver to use their vehicle, and an accident occurs, the owner may be held liable under the legal theory of negligent entrustment.

Borrowed Car Agreements

Some insurance policies require a specific agreement or endorsement for coverage to apply when someone borrows the vehicle. It’s important for vehicle owners and permissive users to be aware of any such requirements.

Assumption of Risk

If the permissive user engages in activities that go beyond the scope of the permission granted by the owner, the owner may argue that they did not assume the risk of those activities, potentially affecting liability.

Relationships & Permissive Use

In legal terms, discussions related to permissive use often revolve around the relationship between the vehicle owner, the permissive user, and the insurance coverage in place. Individuals involved in such situations should consult with legal professionals to understand their rights and responsibilities, assess liability, and navigate any potential legal claims.

Contact an Illinois Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle-related accident due to the negligence of another person, our experienced attorneys can help you receive compensation for the damages you have suffered. There is no fee unless we obtain compensation for you.

Get a free case review by calling 866-699-3339 ‌or‌ ‌complete‌ ‌the‌‌ ‌case‌ ‌request‌ ‌form‌.‌

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