What to do if a debt collector from other party’s insurance company is seeking money from me for accident caused by my boyfriend?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What to do if a debt collector from other party’s insurance company is seeking money from me for accident caused by my boyfriend?

My boyfriend drove my car while drunk and unlicensed and caused an accident. As the car was recently purchased prior to the accident, it was uninsured, unregistered and the title was not officially filed. He went to jail for 3 years. Now a debt collector on behalf of other driver’s insurance is seeking $4100 from me as the

Asked on June 17, 2016 under Accident Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Having insurance right now doesn't help you, since it would not have been in effect when the damage was done--and in any event, damage from DUI is often excluded from insurance coverage (check any policy[ies] to see if this exclusion exists). At the same time, if you let your boyfriend drive the car--that is, he did not steal it without your permission, and you reported it as stolen *at that time*--you are responsible for the damage he did while DUI, since in the law's eyes, you let him drive DUI. If the other party's insurer paid them for the damage to their car, the insurer is allowed to recover that cost or money from you, as the car's owner: the car's owner is liable for the damage done by those whom she lets driver her car, if they were at fault in the accident (and someone driving DUI is definitely at fault). Your best bets may be to negotiate a payment or payment plan you can afford.

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