Who Is Liable In An Accident With a Borrowed Vehicle?

The Difference Between Primary & Secondary Insurance In Car Accidents

A key question in every car or truck accident is determining who was liable. According to Nevada law, the party or parties who were liable for causing the accident are responsible for paying for the damages of everyone else who was involved. So what happens in a more complicated situation, such as a car accident where one driver was operating a borrowed vehicle? These situations are complex and individuals will benefit from guidance from a trusted Nevada personal injury lawyer.

Who Is Liable: The Driver Or the Vehicle’s Owner?

Car accident in NevadaNevada law says that the driver who is at least 51% responsible for the collision is liable. With some exceptions, the driver who caused the accident is generally responsible even if they were driving a borrowed vehicle. The driver who is deemed primarily at fault will be responsible for the damages to the victims, which can include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Long-term care needs resulting from the accident
  • Pain and suffering

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Nevada, contact a trusted Las Vegas personal injury law firm for guidance on your legal options.

In What Situations Might a Vehicle Owner Be Liable?

There are a few exceptions in which the vehicle owner may be held liable, even if they were not driving their vehicle:

Negligent Entrustment

When the owner of a vehicle entrusts their vehicle to an incompetent driver, they may be liable for that person’s actions. Examples of an incompetent driver include:

  • Underage driver
  • Unlicensed driver
  • Someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driver with a history of reckless driving

These situations are called negligent entrustment. The vehicle owner and their insurance will be liable for the damages, and the vehicle owner may face additional consequences, such as increased insurance premiums.

Negligent Maintenance

Vehicle owners hold a reasonable duty to ensure that their vehicle is in safe working condition. This includes providing routine maintenance, keeping fluids full, fixing known mechanical issues, ensuring good brake function, and more. If a car accident is caused by a mechanical failure that could have been prevented by regular maintenance, or the driver was aware of the problem and chose not to fix it, the vehicle owner may be held liable for an accident, even if someone else was driving.

Vicarious Liability

Employers can be held liable for the reckless actions of their employees provided that specific criteria are met, including that the employee was on the clock and in the course of their normal work responsibilities. In personal injury law, Las Vegas car accident law firms most frequently see vicarious liability in truck accident claims involving commercial vehicles, such as semi-trucks or buses.

Infographic that shows In-What-Situations-Might-a-Vehicle-Owner-Be-Liable

Primary & Secondary Insurance

In most cases, the at-fault driver is responsible for the damages caused by an accident, even if they were driving a borrowed vehicle. If the damages exceed the limits of the driver’s auto insurance policy, an accident victim could potentially look to the vehicle owner’s insurance policy for the remainder of their claim. If you’ve been injured in a car accident with a vehicle that was borrowed, contact an experienced Las Vegas auto injury lawyer to discuss your options.

What If The Vehicle Was Borrowed Without Permission?

If a liable driver used the vehicle without permission, the vehicle owner’s insurance would not extend coverage to the driver and would not cover damages from the accident. The liable driver’s insurance would provide primary coverage for the accident. This can complicate personal injury claims because it can be difficult to prove whether a driver had permission to borrow the vehicle.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?

Victims of car accidents who want to claim their damages will find a Las Vegas car accident lawyer to be invaluable. Your attorney will provide build a case on your behalf:

  • Determining whether your injuries are severe enough for a case Car accident in Nevada
  • Determine whether you are eligible for financial compensation
  • Compile evidence to prove liability and your innocence
  • In cases with a borrowed vehicle, demonstrate that the vehicle owner should have been aware of the liable driver’s incompetence to operate the vehicle or prove the at-fault driver’s incompetence to operate the vehicle
  • Provide seasoned legal advice and representation throughout the process
  • Work to negotiate a settlement on your behalf
  • Provide representation in court, if it becomes necessary
  • Maximize the financial compensation you may receive

Have You Been Injured In An Accident With a Borrowed Vehicle?

If you were in an accident with a driver who was borrowing a vehicle and is facing serious injuries, call the trusted attorneys at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC. We are a leading personal injury firm in Las Vegas specializing in representing the victims of car, truck, motorcycle, and drunk driving accidents. If you’re ready to learn more about your legal options, seeking representation in negotiation, and want to maximize the financial compensation you may be entitled to receive, contact our firm to schedule your free consultation. We can help!


Nevada Personal Injury Attorney
Joseph L. Benson II, and Ben J. Bingham, Personal Injury Attorneys

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Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers

Summerlin Location
11441 Allerton Park Dr #100
Las Vegas, NV 89135

Phone: 702-684-6900
Fax: 702-382-9798

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626 S 10th St
Las Vegas, NV 89101

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Las Vegas, NV 89123

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Incline Village, NV 894512

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