What to do if a couple of days ago my minor daughter was involved in an at fault accident in which she was driving her friend’s vehicle with permission?

My daughter was given a ticket for failure to yield resulting in an accident. The other driver was given a ticket for speeding 75 in a 35 mph zone. The vehicle my daughter was driving was licensed and insured by the adult friend. Her parents are now trying to get us to pay for the repairs on the borrowed vehicle even though the vehicle had full coverage insurance. We have our own liability insurance policy but my daughter is not a listed driver. We just came out of bankruptcy 4 months ago and have no assets other than our vehicles. What is my liability in this case.

Asked on March 13, 2013 under Accident Law, Montana

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The registered owner of the vehicle your daughter was driving is liable for the accident.  Her insurance will pay for the repairs to the other driver's vehicle, but not her vehicle.

It would be advisable to obtain the police report because the police report may have attributed fault to both parties since the other driver was speeding.  If both drivers are at fault and your state has comparative negligence, then the registered owner of each vehicle would recover a percentage of the cost of repairs to their vehicle from the opposing party's insurance carrier.  Therefore, it is possible that some of the damage to the car your daughter was driving might be paid for by the other driver's insurance carrier.  If the police report says that only your daughter was at fault, then that won't be applicable.

If your daughter is the only party at fault in the accident, then the registered owner of the vehicle could sue you to pay for the cost of repairs to the car since your daughter is a minor.


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