Can the owner of the car sue me?

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Can the owner of the car sue me?

One night the owner of a car asked me to drive she said she was too drunk. So we get in and go to a store. We were out of town and it’s darker there. I went to turn left into the store and didn’t see the there was a small divider in the middle of the road. I ran over it and it had put a hole in the oil pan. She just got word that the car is totaled. Can she sue me?

Asked on December 5, 2017 under Accident Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can sue you: a vehicle's owner may sue anyone who carelessly, or negligently, damages her car, even a person whom she allowed to drive it. Driving over a divider (a stationary object) is by definition careless or negligent; therefore, you are liable (financially responsible). You may be sued for the lesser (lower amount) of the cost to repair or the then-current fair market (or "blue book") value of the car.


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