If my friend was driving home from picking me up and she crashed her car, am I at fault since if not for me she wouldn’t have been out?

The roads were really icy out and after dropping me at home, she hit the front of her car driving into her apartment complex. Am I at fault for this at all since she would not have been on the road if it were not for me?

Asked on December 20, 2010 under Accident Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, your friend made her own choice about whether to go out under such conditions. You would not be liable in any way except in the very special and unusual circumstance of you in some way either coerced her to go out--force or threat of force--or possibly deceived her into going out, such as by lying about a medical emergency. Alternately, you could be liable if you somehow caused the crash itself--e.g. distracted her in some way, though it seems you were already out of the car.Assuming you did no such wrongful acts, then you are not responsible for your friend's decision to drive under really icy conditions--she could have said "no," after all. And you are not responsible for the resulting crash, either. Again, as long as you did not do something wrongful or improper, while you may certainly feel bad about what happened, you would not be legally responsible.

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