I let my brother in law borrow my vehicle. He let his gf use it instead and she totalled my car.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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I let my brother in law borrow my vehicle. He let his gf use it instead and she totalled my car.

His gf totalled my car by running into a car that had 4 people in it. My brother in law’s mother was sending me a check for 250 a month to help pay off the towing bill/save up for a new car. She stopped sending the check. The gf’s ticket stated reckless driving/out of control. The court charge states RD-OP IMPROPER BRAKES-MISD. I had changed the brake pads and rotors weeks before and got the car inspected the day after and it passed. Things I have in my favor her open court records show in other counties improper driving and multiple seatbelt violations she also received a seatbelt violation on my car. My car was inspected the next day. The 4 people in the car she hit claimed that she was going too fast around a corner and lost control got this information from my insurance. The gf and bro in law stated they hydroplaned, but they’re now making it out to be issues with the brakes once they saw the court charge. Should I file a civil suit vs both of them? What steps would u take?

Asked on September 12, 2017 under Accident Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, sue your brother-in-law and his girl friend both. The girl friend is liable because, based on what you write, she was at fault by driving negligently or carelessly; the brother-in-law would be liable because he loaned out your property without permission, and therefore is liable for what the person he loaned it to did. To recover money, you'd have to prove in court that she was at fault in how she was driving; you would likely need to subpoena the people she hit to testify in court has to her excessive speed around the corner.

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