If I got into an accident with a friend’s car, who should have to pay for damage to the other vehicle – me or him?

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If I got into an accident with a friend’s car, who should have to pay for damage to the other vehicle – me or him?

I had a verbal agreement with my friend that I would make payments every month for the cost of the other vehicle but I never saw any paper work. Then last year I told him I had money to finish paying it for it I just wanted to see what was left to pay he told me that he didn’t think I had anything left to pay and he couldn’t get a hold of anyone. Now he is telling me that I still owe after almost a year of not hearing anything. Do I actually have to pay?

Asked on February 19, 2012 under Accident Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that you were at fault in the accident, your friend as the registered owner of the vehicle is liable for the damage (cost of repairs to the other car).  Your friend should have notified his insurance company and his insurance company would have handled the entire matter.  If your friend didn't have insurance, he could be sued for the damage to the other car in a lawsuit filed against him.  You would also be named as a defendant in the lawsuit since you were the driver.   Your friend could sue you to recover what he paid for the other car's repairs and could sue you for the damage to his (your friend's) car.

It would be advisable to have written documentation of the damage to the other car and cost of repairs to see exactly how much is owed.


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