What to do if I rented a vehicle 5 years ago and my daughter’s friend took the keys without permission and crashed the vehicle while under influence?

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What to do if I rented a vehicle 5 years ago and my daughter’s friend took the keys without permission and crashed the vehicle while under influence?

I would like to know if my house will be taken away to pay for the ride that valued at $27,000 5 years ago. I believe there is a settlement for less but I am not sure. I tried to make a police report but since the girl boyfriend was a cop they refused to make the police report just because her significant other was an officer. She said on her statement that my daughter gave her the key to drive it.

Asked on December 4, 2013 under Accident Law

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you are sued, you will most likely be liable at this point: if you rent a car, you are resonsible for damages caused  by anyone whom you let you drive--or whom another person with permission to drive (such as your daughter) allowed to drive, which is what this woman claims happened. Had you reported the car as stolen when she first took it, you might have been able to escape liability, since you would not be responsible for the actions of a thief. After 5 years though, it's likely too late to make this claim. If you are sued and loose, then if you do not pay, the winning plaintiff could try to execute on your property or put a lien on your home.


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