49-2417. Owner’s tort liability for negligence of another — Subrogation. (1) Every owner of a motor vehicle is liable and responsible for the death of or injury to a person or property resulting from negligence in the operation of his motor vehicle, in the business of the owner or otherwise, by any person using or operating the vehicle with the permission, expressed or implied, of the owner, and the negligence of the person shall be imputed to the owner for all purposes of civil damages.
(2) The liability of an owner for imputed negligence imposed by the provisions of this section and not arising through the relationship of principal and agent or master and servant is limited to the amounts set forth under "proof of financial responsibility" in section 49-117, Idaho Code, or the limits of the liability insurance maintained by the owner, whichever is greater.
(3) In any action against an owner for imputed negligence as imposed by the provisions of this section the operator of the vehicle whose negligence is imputed to the owner shall be made a defendant party if personal service of process can be had upon that operator within Idaho. Upon recovery of a judgment, recourse shall first be had against the property of the operator so served.
(4) In the event a recovery is had under the provisions of this section against an owner for imputed negligence the owner is subrogated to all the rights of the person injured and may recover from the operator the total amount of any judgment and costs recovered against the owner. If the bailee of an owner with the permission, expressed 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 subsections (3) and (4) of this section.
(5) Where two (2) or more persons are injured or killed in one (1) accident, the owner may settle or pay any bona fide claim for damages arising out of personal injuries or death, whether reduced to a judgment or not, and the payments shall diminish to the extent of the owners’ total liability on account of the accident. Payments so made, aggregating the full sum of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), shall extinguish all liability of the owner hereunder to the claimants and all other persons on account of the accident. Liability may exist by reason of imputed negligence, pursuant to this section, and not arising through the negligence of the owner nor through the relationship of principal and agent nor master and servant.
(6) If a motor vehicle is sold under a contract of conditional sale whereby the title to the motor vehicle remains in the vendor, the vendor or his assignee shall be deemed an owner within the provisions of this section.
(7) An owner that rents or leases a motor vehicle to a person shall not be liable under the laws of the state of Idaho or a political subdivision thereof, by reason of being the owner of the vehicle, for harm to persons or property that results or arises out of the use, operation, or possession of the vehicle during the period of the rental or lease if:
(a) The owner is engaged in the trade or business of renting or leasing motor vehicles; and
(b) There is no negligence or criminal wrongdoing on the part of the owner.
[49-2417, added 1988, ch. 265, sec. 481, p. 825; am. 2007, ch. 307, sec. 2, p. 861.]