Am I liable for a scratch on a friends car if he willingly gave me permission to drive it?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Am I liable for a scratch on a friends car if he willingly gave me permission to drive it?

I recently put a scratch on a friend of mines car. He willing gave me permission to drive it. The deductible is $500 which I offered to pay. He does not want to make an insurance claim because his premium will go up. Instead he got an estimate for $1,200 and is threatening to sue me if I don’t pay it. Does he have a case?

Asked on February 9, 2012 under Accident Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You are liable for the scratch on your friend's car.  Your friend could sue you for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care in this case that a reasonable driver under the same or similar circumstances would have exercised to prevent foreseeable harm).  The fact that your friend gave you permission to drive the car does not relieve you of liability for negligence because you would still have to exercise due care in driving the car.

Your friend has to mitigate (minimize) damages.  Damages means the amount of compensation your friend is seeking to recover in a lawsuit against you.  In order to mitigate damages, your friend will need to get the car repaired at a repair shop whose charges are comparable to other repair shops in the area.  For example, if your friend selected the most expensive repair shop, his/her damages will be reduced accordingly.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption