What to do if last year I allowed “a friend” to drive my car and he totaled it?

UPDATED: Apr 9, 2013

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What to do if last year I allowed “a friend” to drive my car and he totaled it?

There were several injuries to passenger in other vehicles and there car was totaled as well. The insurer settled my case and disbursed $136,000. My so-called friend was drunk at the time and arrested. I had a really rough year financially, several delinquencies and paid over $10,000 in rental fees. This friend at no point have offered me help and I want some sort of justice. I am a resident of one state but this accident occurred in another. What actions should I take to sue this friend or do I have a chance at a law uit?

Asked on April 9, 2013 under Accident Law, Maryland


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As the registered owner of the vehicle, you are liable for the accident caused by your friend driving your car.  You can sue your friend for negligence to recover the amount of the judgment against you; however, since the case was settled with the insurance company, if that covered all of the claims of the other parties, then there doesn't appear to be a judgment against you. You can sue your friend to recover costs you have incurred as a result of the accident.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking from your friend) should also include compensation for the loss of your car.  A lawsuit can be filed in the state where the plaintiff resides or in the state where the defendant resides or in the state where the claim arose.  For convenience purposes such as filing documents with the court and court appearances, it would be advisable to file the lawsuit against your friend in the state where you reside.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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