My boyfriend was driving my car he took the car without permission and got into an accident and the damage to a offense now I’m being sued what can I do about it and if I tell them my boyfriend was driving without permission can he get locked up

My boyfriend was driving my car he
took it without me knowing about
it got into an accident now I’m
being sued what can happen to my
boyfriend if I tell them that he
took the car without permission
and why is my insurance company
covering the damages

Asked on July 20, 2017 under Accident Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Taking a car without permission is called "theft." To potentially avoid responsibility, you'd have to press charges against him for theft. Assuming the authorities believed you, he could be looking at months to over a year, possibly several years, in jail. But because taking a car without permission is theft, only if you press charges might you avoid being liable (as the car's owner) for any damages, costs, or injuries he caused. Car owners are liable for the accidents of those they allow to use their car--even if the permission was implicit or ratified after fact.
2) Ask you insurer why they are not covering. At a guess, if your boyfriend lived with you or had previously borrowed your car with permission, they may be considering him a (semi-)regular user of your car, which means he should have been named on your policy. If you fail to name a regular or repeat user of your car, the insurer does not have to cover him.

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