If a friend wanted to buy my car so took it mechanic to be checked but had an accident on the way back, what are my rights?

All was good we agreed on price. He rear-ended someone on the way back and totaled my car. I have voice mail and text from him saying that he would still buy the car. Now he is avoiding me. Is there a way to legally force him to pay?

Asked on February 11, 2015 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Ordinarily, you wouldn't be able to force your friend to pay for the car because even if you had a valid written contract in which he agreed to purchase the car, he could assert frustation of purpose (subject matter of the contract, the car, was destroyed) as a defense to enforcement of the contract.

However, since he is still saying that he will buy the car, you can sue him for breach of contract and seek specific performance of the contract.  Specific performance means that the court will order compliance with the terms of the contract since he is still agreeing to buy the car after it has been totalled.

 


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