What to do if I was out of state and my son who lives with me was home with his friend and lent him my car?

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What to do if I was out of state and my son who lives with me was home with his friend and lent him my car?

His friend took my car and crashed it; he was at fault. There was no police report because the other driver knew the kid but had no problem charging my insurer for the damages. My son’s friend is 22 years old lives, with his parents and they claim that he is not on their insurance. They won’t let him drive their car and won’t take any responsibility. I’d like to know if I can sue him or ask his parents insurer to take responsibility.

Asked on August 1, 2013 under Accident Law, Connecticut

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As the registered owner of the vehicle, you are liable for the accident which is why the party who was not at fault in the accident filed a claim with your insurance carrier.

Since the driver of your car was 22, he is an adult and you can sue him for negligence for the property damage to your car (cost of repairs).  If you need a rental car while your car is being repaired, the cost of the rental car should also be included in your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for negligence).

You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting an auto body repair shop whose charges are comparable to other auto body repair shops in the area and a rental car with a reasonable rate.  If you were to select the most expensive auto body repair shop you could find, you have failed to mitigate damages and your damages would be reduced accordingly.  You will need to select a rental car with a reasonable rate.  If you were to select the most expensive rental car you could find, you have failed to mitigate damages and your damages would be reduced accordingly.


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