If my daughter’s boyfriend wrecked her car and it is literally totaled, can she sue?

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If my daughter’s boyfriend wrecked her car and it is literally totaled, can she sue?

The vehicle is not paid for and it is in her name. He has been paying the car note, however he is now refusing to pay it because she asked for the vehicle back (to get back and for to work).

Asked on February 3, 2015 under Accident Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if a permitted driver of a car (someone the driver allowed to use it) is at fault in causing an accident and damaging the car, the owner can sue him for the cost to repair or, if it can't be repaired, the then-current market value. The key is, it must have been his fault--e.g. he must have been driving unreasonably carelessly, or negligently, such as by speeding, texting while driving, going through stoplights or -signs, DUI/DWI, etc. If he was not at fault, he would not be liable; liability in cases like this is based on fault.


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