What to do if a 17 year old boy took our car without permission and he and my daughter took a joy ride that ended in the car being totaled?

UPDATED: May 28, 2013

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What to do if a 17 year old boy took our car without permission and he and my daughter took a joy ride that ended in the car being totaled?

Is he responsible for anything or is it all on us?

Asked on May 28, 2013 under Accident Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are talking only about recovering your own losses (e.g. the value of the car) and not a claim against you by some third party (i.e. someone he ran into), then you could look to hold the boy and his family liable: a driver is responsible for the damage he does to another's car while driving negligently, or carelessly, and that is especially true when the use of the car was unauthorized. If he and his family will not pay voluntarily, you could sue them for the money.


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