Do I have any legal recourse to make someone who borrowed my car help pay for a replacement since they totaled it in an accident?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I have any legal recourse to make someone who borrowed my car help pay for a replacement since they totaled it in an accident?

I was working on a friend’s car so I loaned her my car to use while I was repairing hers. She had the car for less than a day and was in an accident that basically totalled my car. According to her, the other car did not stop and she did not call the police. Turns out that she does not even have a license. She obviously never shared this info with me prior. We know each other through her dad. I work on his cars too. I don’t have a “shop”, I just work out of my home for additional income. I only had minimal liability insurance on the car so that won’t help me in this situation. She is refusing to pay me anything towards the purchase of a replacement car. There were no written documents at all. All was set up via text. Without that, do I have any legal recourse to make her pay?

Asked on February 20, 2016 under Accident Law, Ohio


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the other party was at fault in the accident, you can file a property damage claim with that insurance company.  That company might try to deny the claim because your friend didn't have a driver's license.
If your friend was at fault in the accident, then that other party's insurance company won't compensate you and will deny the claim.
If you aren't able to receive compensation from the other party's insurance company, you can sue your friend for negligence for the loss of your car.

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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