Who is responsible when a friend crashes your car?

My duaghter and a few friends went on a car trip. They used our car. My daughter drove for a while on the way home, then she got tired and one of the friends took over. The friend got into an accident, went into the median and did $4000 worth of damage to the side of the car. Luckily no one was injured! Our insurance will cover everything except the $500 deductable. My question is… Who is responsible for the deductable. I believe the driver of the car at the time of the accident should be.

Asked on July 30, 2012 under Accident Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The driver at the time would be liable if she was at fault--that is, if she was driving negligently (carelessly) or intentionally did something causing the crash. If it was not her fault, however--e.g. a tire blew out; another vehicle almost hit her and forced her over; etc.--then she would not have to pay. Liability in an instance like this depends on fault.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.