If I got into a car accident with my ex-boyfriend’s car and his insurance didn’t cover the damage, is it my responsibility to pay?

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If I got into a car accident with my ex-boyfriend’s car and his insurance didn’t cover the damage, is it my responsibility to pay?

The car accident was my fault and included three other cars. My ex’s insurance wouldn’t cover anything because I was the driver. Before when my ex and I were together I was paying the debt of because I felt that it was the right thing to do. Now that we are no longer together I am starting to wonder if it really is my responsibility to pay of the debt. My ex’s name is on all the forms and the paperwork. My name is only on the car accident report. Am I responsible to pay of the car debt or is my ex since it is his car?

Asked on October 24, 2010 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are both responsible. The driver of car is clearly and unequivocally responsible, assuming that she is at fault, for any damages or injuries she causes. However, the owner of a car is also responsible, assuming that the driver was permitted to take the car (e.g. a car's owner is not responsible for the actions of someone who stole or otherwise drove a car without permission). It is not all clear that the ex's insurance should not have covered the amount, assuming that you were a permitted driver; and even if it did not, your ex, as the car's owner, would bear responsibilty and could potentially be made to contribute. You should consult with an attorney who can help you determine what rights and recourse you have in this situation--it's worth taking the time to have the conversation. Good luck.


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