Can I sue a car dealership if they sold a car to someone without insurance and they ran the car into my house the next day?

UPDATED: Aug 8, 2012

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Can I sue a car dealership if they sold a car to someone without insurance and they ran the car into my house the next day?

An 18 year old tried to teach herself how to drive in a car that was sold to her the day before. Lost control of the car and ran into my living room, which I had set up for my tax business. My insurance had to pay for the damages which still did not for cover loss of business and the labor. I suffered lack of sleep and stress because the house stayed boarded for 4 weeks before the contractor started work on house. The car had temporary plates and she had no insurance and she did’t have a license. She lives with her Aunt two blocks away who has had custody of her for 2 years.

Asked on August 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot sue the dealership. You cannot establish foreseeable proximate cause--i.e. that the dealership would have any reason to think the teenager would run off the road into a house; that is not a foreseeable hazard of their act. You also cannot link the dealership's wrongful act--selling to someone without a license--to the damage--a collision with your house. One does not lead to the other. Without these causal links, you cannot hold them liable. What you can do is sue the teenager, since she is 18; you might also name the parent or legal guardian, just in case she is considered still a minor legally in this specific case, since a minor's parent or legal guardian is liable for her wrongful act.

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 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.

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