Q: My motorcycle was hit by a leased automobile. I am not sure whether the problem was in how the car was operated, or how it had been maintained. Should I sue the driver, the lessee, the rental company, or all three?
A: Generally, the owner of a leased vehicle will not be held vicariously liable for the negligent operation of that vehicle. A major exception arises when the company has failed properly to maintain it.
Often, the lease documents state that the lessee is obligated to have the vehicle serviced by a ‘partner dealer’ of the company, according to a service schedule established by the company. The initial work for your attorney will include getting and reviewing the lease documents and service records.
To the extent that there is evidence that the collision arose from a defective condition of the auto, rather than from the negligence of its driver, and the lessee complied with the service schedule, then you are more likely to prevail against the company. Nevertheless, it is likely that your attorney will bring suit against all three.
By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial
The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.
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