If I was in a car with some friends and one of them caused a cigar burn, am I liable for damages incurred?

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If I was in a car with some friends and one of them caused a cigar burn, am I liable for damages incurred?

During prom night my friends and I were smoking cigars in a friend’s car. Another one of my friends caused a cigar burn. Am I liable for damage, even though I did not create the burn?

Asked on July 20, 2011 Nebraska

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No you are not liable for damage if a) you did not cause the damage and b) it is discoverable that you did not cause it. However, in a pure negligence situation, if you were all smoking and it is possible you each could have done it, then you could all be equally liable for the full amount of damages or your percentage (the typical example is if all three people shoot at something, it causes damages, any one of those three could have caused the damage, so liability could be attributed to all three). If you are afraid your friend will seek damages, make sure you get as much evidence together to show you did not do it. If your other friend admitted to it, then you really don't have to worry about it.


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