New York State Law

Vehicle and Traffic Law

Consolidated Laws of New York's VTL code

Article 11 - NY Vehicle and Traffic Law


Section Description
388Negligence in use or operation of vehicle attributable to owner.
S 388. Negligence  in  use  or  operation  of  vehicle attributable to owner.
    1. Every owner of a vehicle used or operated in this  state  shall  be
  liable  and  responsible  for  death  or  injuries to person or property
  resulting from negligence in the use or operation of  such  vehicle,  in
  the  business  of  such  owner  or  otherwise,  by  any  person using or
  operating the same with the permission,  express  or  implied,  of  such
  owner.  Whenever  any  vehicles  as hereinafter defined shall be used in
  combination with one another, by attachment or tow, the person using  or
  operating  any  one  vehicle shall, for the purposes of this section, be
  deemed to be using or operating each vehicle in the combination, and the
  owners thereof shall be jointly and severally liable hereunder.
    2. As used in this section, "vehicle"  means  a  "motor  vehicle",  as
  defined  in section one hundred twenty-five of this chapter, except fire
  and police vehicles, self-propelled combines,  self-propelled  corn  and
  hay  harvesting  machines and tractors used exclusively for agricultural
  purposes, and shall also include "semitrailer" and "trailer" as  defined
  in article one of this chapter, whether or not such vehicles are used or
  operated  upon  a  public  highway.  For  the  purpose  of this section,
  self-propelled  caterpillar  or  crawler-type  equipment   while   being
  operated on the contract site, shall not be defined as motor vehicles.
    3. As used in this section, "owner" shall be as defined in section one
  hundred  twenty-eight  of  this  chapter  and their liability under this
  section shall be joint and  several.  If  a  vehicle  be  sold  under  a
  contract  of  sale  which reserves a security interest in the vehicle in
  favor of the vendor, such  vendor  or  his  assignee  shall  not,  after
  delivery  of  such  vehicle, be deemed an owner within the provisions of
  this section, but the vendee,  or  his  assignee,  receiving  possession
  thereof,  shall  be  deemed such owner notwithstanding the terms of such
  contract, until the vendor or his assignee shall  retake  possession  of
  such  vehicle.  A  secured  party  in  whose  favor  there is a security
  interest in any vehicle out of his possession, shall not  be  deemed  an
  owner within the provisions of this section.
    4.  All bonds executed by or policies of insurance issued to the owner
  of any vehicle subject to the provisions of this section shall contain a
  provision  for  indemnity  or  security  against   the   liability   and
  responsibility  provided  in  this  section;  but, except as provided in
  paragraphs one and two of subsection (g) of section three thousand  four
  hundred  twenty  of  the  insurance  law,  this  provision  shall not be
  construed as requiring that such a policy include insurance against  any
  liability  of the insured, being an individual, for death of or injuries
  to his or her spouse or for injury to property of  his  or  her  spouse,
  where  the  injured  spouse,  to  be entitled to recover, must prove the
  culpable conduct of the insured spouse.

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Vehicle and Traffic Law - Table of Contents

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