Carrying mounts couldn't cause a problem

The concept of the holder

The owner is whoever uses the vehicle (not only temporarily) for their own account and who has actual power of disposal over the vehicle. So he must be able to determine the possibility, occasion, destination and time of his trip himself.

The car

The accident must have been caused by a vehicle or one pendantthat can be carried by a vehicle.
The decisive factor here is the question of motorization. In the past you could have said: Do the test: Does it smell like gasoline? This is no longer possible today against the background of e.g. B. of hybrid cars. It is even sufficient if the vehicle is operated by steam. A cyclist with an auxiliary engine who can theoretically drive faster than 20 km / h is also one of them.

When operating the motor vehicle

The vehicle must in operation have been. Yes, what does that mean? Unfortunately not what one would understand as "in operation" up and down the country, namely that at least the engine is running and the vehicle is in motion.

According to case law, a vehicle is also in operation when it is in traffic and endangers other road users. A car parked in public parking lots is in operation because the public parking lot is part of general road traffic. However, the question might arise as to whether the operational hazard of the parked vehicle had any effect.

Interestingly, the operating concept of owner liability even includes the constellation that the damage originates from an occupant. A very vivid example: Your passenger carelessly opens the car door. He overlooked a cyclist who hits the door and falls. The owner liability applies.

Next, the operation of the vehicle must cause the damage adequately caused to have. This means that it must still be attributable to the operation of the vehicle that the accident happened. It is no longer part of the operation of the vehicle if a traffic accident triggers a panic reaction in animals and these animals then die. The owner cannot demand compensation for the damage incurred by the animal owner, since the attribution connection is missing.

On the other hand, the adequately caused damage does not depend on contact with the vehicle. A driving style in which the vehicle lurches and skids across the road can cause attributable damage. Example: A pedestrian feels so insecure that he jumps to the side and injures himself in the process.

Personal injury or property damage has occurred

If damage has occurred during the operation of the motor vehicle and the liability of the owner is not excluded (more on this later), the injured party will be compensated for the damage to the extent that corresponds to the liability quota of the owner.

Disclaimer of liability

The basic liability of the holder does not apply if certain Exclusion of liability, namely in the event of force majeure, black journeys or if there is an unavoidable event.

Force majeure

Liability is excluded if there is an external, extraordinary and unavoidable event. Typically this is the case with extraordinary natural events or with deliberate interference by third parties in road traffic. If the damaging event is caused by force majeure, the strict liability claim is generally excluded.


Suppose a thief seizes your car, short circuits it, drives off and has a serious traffic accident while trying to escape. As a result, the opponent's luxury car suffers a total loss and the other driver is also injured. The owner's liability actually means that your own liability insurance must now pay for this damage. Because the owner's liability does not presuppose any fault. Can that be right?

No. The legislature has stipulated: If someone uses his vehicle without the knowledge and will of the owner and the owner is not at fault for this use (e.g. leaves the car with the key open), then it is a so-called black drive. In these cases, the owner's liability is excluded.

Liability in the event of an unavoidable event

Another good news: In the event of an accident in which several vehicle owners are involved, strict liability is reduced. The legislature allows the so-called proof of inevitability. According to this, liability is ruled out if the accident cannot be averted even with the utmost care. The decisive factor, however, is not how an ideal driver would have behaved in the situation, but whether an ideal driver would have got into this situation at all.