If my mother crashed my car into another car and had no insurance or driver’s license, am I liable?

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If my mother crashed my car into another car and had no insurance or driver’s license, am I liable?

My car was owned by the bank and my full coverage insurance was 20 days lapsed because of non-payment. Thus the bank covered my car with its own insurance that only covers my car’s damages but not the other driver’s. The other driver had to pay his deductable to get his car fixed. Now a debt collector on behalf of the insurance company and the insured is coming after me for payment with interest. Is the statute of limitations up? I received one phone call back in 2008 about the matter and now a letter 2 years later saying I have to pay them in 5 days or risk paying the fee and all legal fees. What are my options?

Asked on September 7, 2010 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

Reginald Mason / Mason & Mason, LLP

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You might be sued under a theory of negligent entrustment, and most likely you will be held liable.

 

Best  

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The insurance company is attempting to collect on the money that they paid out to their insured under what is known as "subrogation".  It is the right of the insurance company to "step in to the shoes" of their insured and sue based upon the damages claimed.  Subrogation has, I believe, a three year statute of limitations in California.  When the cause of action accrues (or becomes a viable action) is the issue.  In subrogation claims it is generally 3 years from the date that the claim is paid out, not the date of the accident.  I would suggest that you seek legal consultation  in your area on the matter to be sure.  Bring with you all the relevant documentation as well.  Good luck.


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