Wat will happen if my16 year old unlicensed stepdaughter stole my uninsured truck and got into an accident?

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Wat will happen if my16 year old unlicensed stepdaughter stole my uninsured truck and got into an accident?

She is at fault for failure to yield. Police dept says I can’t press charges against her it is considered domestic. What rights do I have? There was damage to other vehicle. We did not have insurance on truck because we stored it in our garage due to gas prices and only one income for family of five. Are we responsible for the damage to the other vehicle?

Asked on April 29, 2013 under Accident Law, Iowa

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

As the registered owner of the truck, you are liable for the accident.  Your liability would include property damage (cost of repairs to the other vehicle) and if the other driver or occupants of the vehicle that was not at fault in the accident sustained injuries, you would be liable for their personal injury claim(s).  The personal injury claim would include the medical bills, pain and suffering (an amount in addition to the medical bills) and wage loss.

If the other driver had uninsured motorist coverage, that driver could file an uninsured motorist claim through his/her insurance carrier.  However, that insurance carrier will sue you to recover the amount expended on the claim.

If the party who was not at fault in the accident did not have uninsured motorist coverage, that party will sue you for negligence to recover compensation for property damage and personal injury.  If the party who was not at fault or their insurance company obtains a judgment against you which you cannot afford to pay, you might want to consider filing bankruptcy at that time.  It would be premature to file bankruptcy before there is a judgment against you because you would not know the amount of the judgment.


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