A car accident that resulted in severe head injuries to one man resulted in a liability verdict of $25 million at trial.
However, because of comparative negligence, collateral source set-offs and taxable costs, the final judgment was for about half that – $12.8 million. Now on appeal, the liability of one of those two defendants – who was found to be vicariously liable for loaning the vehicle to the driver who caused the crash – has been further reduced.
Per F.S. 324.021(9)(b)3, an owner of a vehicle who is a “natural person” (as opposed to a business) and loans a motor vehicle to a permissive user and that user causes a crash, the owner can be liable for up to $100,000 per person or $300,000 per incident for bodily injury and $50,000 for property damage. However, if that permissive user is uninsured or underinsured, the owner can be liable for an additional maximum $500,000 in economic damages arising from use of that motor vehicle.