If I hit someone’s garage while test driving their car, am I legally bond to repair it?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I hit someone’s garage while test driving their car, am I legally bond to repair it?

The buyer insisted that I test drive it. It seems like the brakes did not work on return to the house, so I ended up hitting his garage door while trying to stop.Should I pay to fix it?

Asked on April 6, 2012 under Accident Law, Arizona

Answers:

DRichard White / MoKan Personal Injury Group

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your factual statement provides that you were driving someone else's vehicle when the brakes appeared to fail and as a result you caused damage to a garage door. You ask if you should pay to have it fixed. Under the law the ultimate responsibility would lie with you if the damage was due to your faulty driving or with the car owner if the damage was due to a faulty vehicle. However, most states have laws as they do in Kansas that provide that every vehicle should have insurance to cover the damage to someone else's property should an damage producing accident occur. In Kansas the damages described would be covered under the vehicle insurance policy and thus would be paid by the vehicle owner’s insurance. Considering the same an argument could be made that regardless of fault you should not have to pay for the damages since the same should be covered by insurance and if the vehicle was uninsured then the owner should bear the cost since he insisted that you drive the vehicle without informing you that the vehicle was uninsured.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The issue, legally, is fault: who is at fault, or responsible for the accident. If you hit the garage because you were driving carelessly, you would be liable; however, if the cause of the accident was defective brakes on the car, a car which was not yours or otherwise under your control (so you were not responsible for the brake maintenance), then you should not be liable for the damage.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption