What to do if I was driving my mom’s car when I hit apatch of ice and slid off the road?

UPDATED: May 9, 2013

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What to do if I was driving my mom’s car when I hit apatch of ice and slid off the road?

The insurer considered the car totaled and the amount still on the loan was $900 greater than the assesed value. I called the highway patrole when the accident occurred and the officer found me not guilty of any traffic violation. Yet now the in surance has approached me with a bill for the complete value of the car. What are my options?

Asked on May 9, 2013 under Accident Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Even if you did not commit a traffic violation, if you were negligent or careless in any way--such as by driving faster than was appropriate for conditions--the insurer can try to recover the money they paid out (the car's value) to their insured (your mother). You could refuse to pay and force them to sue you in court, where they would have to prove by a "preponderance of the evidence" (i.e. that it is more likely than not) that you were at faut.

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