Many car dealerships provide customers with loaned vehicles to use while their cars are being serviced. Drivers of loaned cars are as likely as other motorists to be involved in accidents. Still, if they are, the issue of who is ultimately responsible for any damages caused can be a convoluted question. This was demonstrated in a recent Tennessee ruling in which the court affirmed that an insurer of a dealership was not liable for damages caused by a person driving a loaned SUV. If you were hurt in a crash involving a rented or loaned vehicle, it is prudent to meet with a dedicated Tennessee car accident attorney to assess your options.
Facts of the Case
It is reported that the defendant took his vehicle to a dealership to have it serviced. The dealer provided him with an SUV to use in the interim, and he executed a rental agreement. He then saw another SUV that he wished to drive instead. Thus, a dealership employee crossed out the information in the agreement for the first SUV and wrote in the information for the second SUV, after which the defendant signed the agreement.
Allegedly, while the defendant was driving the SUV, he was involved in a collision with the plaintiff that caused the plaintiff to suffer significant injuries. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, and a jury returned a verdict in the plaintiff’s favor. The plaintiff then filed a second action seeking a ruling from the court that the dealership’s insurer was required to pay the damages awarded in the verdict. The court found in favor of the insurer, and the plaintiff appealed.