Can I sue an unauthorized driver for damaging my car?

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Can I sue an unauthorized driver for damaging my car?

My car was taken out my driveway while I was sleeping, so I had no knowledge that it was gone until I was woken up and told that the driver had been in an accident and my car was totaled.

Asked on April 9, 2017 under Accident Law, Missouri

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the unauthorized driver for conversion which is theft in a civil case.  Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit would be the value of your car.  You can enforce a court judgment against the unauthorized driver with a wage garnishment.
Unfortunately, since you are the registered owner of the vehicle, you are liable for the accident caused by the unauthorized driver.  You can recover a judgment against you regarding property damage to the other car or personal injury claims of the occupants of the other vehicle not at fault in the accident, in your lawsuit against the unauthorized driver of your car.


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