Can legal action be taken against me for my car accident?

In December 2016, I was moving my car in the driveway and hit my roommate’s car and caused cosmetic damage to the driver side door. I was uninsured at the time. The police were never called and a police report was never made. He left that night. I got auto insurance the next day. He filed an insurance claim the next day, but I asked if I could pay out of pocket for the damages so that I wouldn’t have my license suspended. At first it was $1,500 until I said I couldn’t afford that, so it suddenly dropped to $600. I offered to pay his part of rent for March and April, but after recent events I need to ask him to move out without finishing the deal. Can I be sued or can my license be suspended?

Asked on March 11, 2017 under Accident Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you had an agreement to pay--whether in cash or by paying his rent--and you violate that agreement by not paying the full, agreed-upon amount, you can be sued. At a minimum, you could be sued for the full remaining amount due under your agreement, whether it was a written or oral agreement; it is possible that he could also sue you for the full cost/amount of the damage to his car, on the grounds that your breach of the agreement terminated it and freed him from any limitation on how much he would accept (i.e. from an agreement to take less than the full cost of the damage).

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you had an agreement to pay--whether in cash or by paying his rent--and you violate that agreement by not paying the full, agreed-upon amount, you can be sued. At a minimum, you could be sued for the full remaining amount due under your agreement, whether it was a written or oral agreement; it is possible that he could also sue you for the full cost/amount of the damage to his car, on the grounds that your breach of the agreement terminated it and freed him from any limitation on how much he would accept (i.e. from an agreement to take less than the full cost of the damage).


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