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

Answers:

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.


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