I let a friend drive my car but he went out to drink and get high on pills and totaled my car?

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I let a friend drive my car but he went out to drink and get high on pills and totaled my car?

My insurance covered him and the car but after the insurance company payed what it was worth we still owe on it because we didn’t have GAP. Can I sue him for the balance on my car and money for a down payment ona new one?

Asked on October 3, 2012 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If he was responsible for the car and caused the damage to the car because of his actions, then yes, you could sue him for the balance that was not covered by your insurance.  You can recover the amount of actual damages that would certainly include the balance that you still owed on the car.  You probably won't get the cost of a new down payment however because that's more of a negotiated amount.  However, ask for it and see what amount can be resolved somewhere in between.

You may also see what his insurance might cover.  Many won't cover under these circumstances, but there actually some policies that will.  The problem with any judgment in these cases is not getting the judgment, but rather collecting on the judgement from a person who does not have the ability to pay the judgement.  If there is an insurance policy, then that will give you a deeper pocket to dig into for restitution. 


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