CAN THE OWNER OF A VEHICLE BE HELD LIABLE?

Published: April 28, 2021

In Utah, the general rule is that the owner of a vehicle is not liable for the driver’s negligence. There are a number of exceptions though, including the two outlined below, among others.

First, under Utah law, the owner of a vehicle may be held liable for the driver’s negligence if the driver is operating the vehicle for the owner’s benefit, service, or business. See Ferguson v. Reynolds, 52 Utah 583, 585, 176 P. 267 (1918) (driver engaged in owners’ “business” at time of accident); Wright v. Intermountain Motorcar Co., 53 Utah 176,  182, 177 P. 237 (1918) (“it must appear that it was either directly or indirectly being used in the [owner’s] business”); Woody v. Utah Power & Light Co., 54 F,2d 220, 222 (10th Cir. 1931) ( “the use [of the vehicle] must have been in the service of the master or while the servant was about the master’s benefit”). Second, under Utah law, the owner of a vehicle may be liable for the driver’s negligence when the driver is running “an errand” on the owner’s behalf. See Mehr v. Child, 90 Utah 348, 354, 61 P.2d 624 (1936) (agency relationship would exist if daughter was “on an errand” for her parents and operating parents’ vehicle “for the parents and at their request”).

If you have been injured in a Utah auto accident and have questions about the vehicle owner’s liability, call Shane for a free consultation about your case.

If you have been injured in an auto accident in Salt Lake City, call Shane immediately. He can answer your questions regarding an owner’s liability. He has been practicing law for nearly twenty years and has extensive knowledge regarding liability issues. His office is located in Murray, Utah, but he represents injured clients in Salt Lake County, Utah County, Weber County, Salt Lake City, Provo, Orem, Ogden, Orem, St. George, and all other cities in Utah. He obtains high value settlements for injured Utah clients. Call him immediately to discuss your case.

To contact Shane, call or text 385-429-9960 or e-mail s@gosdis.lawyer.