Am I responsible for damage to rental car after passenger took control of the car without permission after I exited vehicle and drove it straight into parked car?

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Am I responsible for damage to rental car after passenger took control of the car without permission after I exited vehicle and drove it straight into parked car?

It occurred in a parking lot of retail and private businesses. After arguing, I pulled over and exited the vehicle to cool down. As I walked away, my girlfriend jumped in the driver’s seat and drove straight into a parked car in front of her. The car that was hit was unoccupied. I left note on the car letting them know who hit it. My girlfriend said that it was an accident but I think she did it on purpose. She knew it was trouble if she drove the car and had an accident since it likely would not be covered. I never gave her permission to drive the car.

Asked on August 8, 2017 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You are responsible, under the typical terms of the usual rental contract, for all damage done to the rental car while it's in your possession. You can potentially sue your girlfriend for any amounts you personally have to pay out of pocket, since she was the one actually driving the car at the time.


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