2005 California Vehicle Code Sections 17150-17159 Article 2. Private Owners

VEHICLE CODE
SECTION 17150-17159

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
17155.  Where 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 or
judgment or not, and the payments shall diminish to the extent
thereof such 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 which 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.


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