Code Section Group

Vehicle Code - VEH

DIVISION 9. CIVIL LIABILITY [17000 - 17714]

  ( Division 9 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 1. Civil Liability of Owners and Operators of Vehicles [17000 - 17463]

  ( Chapter 1 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

ARTICLE 2. Private Owners [17150 - 17159]
  ( Article 2 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

17150.
  

Every owner of a motor vehicle is liable and responsible for death or injury to person or property resulting from a negligent or wrongful act or omission in the operation of the motor vehicle, in the business of the owner or otherwise, by any person using or operating the same with the permission, express or implied, of the owner.

(Amended by Stats. 1967, Ch. 702.)

17150.5.
  

The presumptions created by Section 803 of the Family Code as to the acquisition of property by a married woman by an instrument in writing shall not apply in an action based on Section 17150 with respect to the acquisition of a motor vehicle by a married woman and her husband.

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 163, Sec. 134. Effective January 1, 1993. Operative January 1, 1994, by Sec. 161 of Ch. 163.)

17151.
  

(a) The liability of an owner, bailee of an owner, or personal representative of a decedent imposed by this chapter and not arising through the relationship of principal and agent or master and servant is limited to the amount of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for the death of or injury to one person in any one accident and, subject to the limit as to one person, is limited to the amount of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) for the death of or injury to more than one person in any one accident and is limited to the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for damage to property of others in any one accident.

(b) An owner, bailee of an owner, or personal representative of a decedent is not liable under this chapter for damages imposed for the sake of example and by way of punishing the operator of the vehicle. Nothing in this subdivision makes an owner, bailee, or personal representative immune from liability for damages imposed for the sake of example and by way of punishing him for his own wrongful conduct.

(Amended by Stats. 1967, Ch. 862, Sec. 8.5.)

17152.
  

In any action against an owner, bailee of an owner, or personal representative of a decedent on account of liability imposed by Sections 17150, 17154, or 17159 for the negligent or wrongful act or omission of the operator of a vehicle, the operator shall be made a party defendant if service of process can be made in a manner sufficient to secure personal jurisdiction over the operator. Upon recovery of judgment, recourse shall first be had against the property of the operator so served.

(Amended by Stats. 1967, Ch. 702.)

17153.
  

If there is recovery under this chapter against an owner, bailee of an owner, or personal representative of a decedent, the owner, bailee of an owner, or personal representative of a decedent is subrogated to all the rights of the person injured or whose property has been injured and may recover from the operator the total amount of any judgment and costs recovered against the owner, bailee of an owner, or personal representative of a decedent.

(Amended by Stats. 1967, Ch. 702.)

17154.
  

If the bailee of an owner with the permission, express or implied, of the owner permits another to operate the motor vehicle of the owner, then the bailee and the driver shall both be deemed operators of the vehicle of the owner within the meaning of Sections 17152 and 17153.

Every bailee of a motor vehicle is liable and responsible for death or injury to person or property resulting from a negligent or wrongful act or omission in the operation of the motor vehicle, in the business of the bailee or otherwise, by any person using or operating the same with the permission, express or implied, of the bailee.

(Amended by Stats. 1967, Ch. 702.)

17155.
  

If two or more persons are injured or killed in one accident, the owner, bailee of an owner, or personal representative of a decedent may settle and pay any bona fide claims for damages arising out of personal injuries or death, whether reduced by judgment or not, and the payments shall diminish, to the extent of those payments, the person’s total liability on account of the accident. Payments aggregating the full sum of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) shall extinguish all liability of the owner, bailee of an owner, or personal representative of a decedent for death or personal injury arising out of the accident that exists pursuant to this chapter, and did not arise through the negligent or wrongful act or omission of the owner, bailee of an owner, or personal representative of a decedent nor through the relationship of principal and agent or master and servant.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 538, Sec. 660. Effective January 1, 2007.)

17156.
  

If a motor vehicle is sold under a contract of conditional sale whereby the title to such motor vehicle remains in the vendor, such vendor or his assignee shall not be deemed an owner within the provisions of this chapter, but the vendee or his assignee shall be deemed the owner notwithstanding the terms of such contract, until the vendor or his assignee retake possession of the motor vehicle. A chattel mortgagee of a motor vehicle out of possession is not an owner within the provisions of this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 1967, Ch. 702.)

17157.
  

If a motor vehicle is gratuitously loaned to a school district, the bailee and not the bailor shall be deemed to be the owner within the provisions of this chapter notwithstanding the terms of any contract, until the bailor retakes possession of the motor vehicle.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 289.)

17158.
  

No person riding in or occupying a vehicle owned by him and driven by another person with his permission has any right of action for civil damages against the driver of the vehicle or against any other person legally liable for the conduct of the driver on account of personal injury to or the death of the owner during the ride, unless the plaintiff in any such action establishes that the injury or death proximately resulted from the intoxication or willful misconduct of the driver.

(Amended by Stats. 1973, Ch. 803.)

17159.
  

Every person who is a personal representative of a decedent who has control or possession of a motor vehicle subject to administration for the purpose of administration of an estate is, during the period of such administration, or until the vehicle has been distributed under order of the court or he has complied with the requirements of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 5602, liable and responsible for death or injury to person or property resulting from a negligent or wrongful act or omission in the operation of the motor vehicle by any person using or operating the same with the permission, express or implied, of the personal representative.

(Amended by Stats. 1967, Ch. 702.)

VEHVehicle Code - VEH2.