What to do if my daughter’s boyfriend allowed his uncle to borrow her unisured car without her knowledge but he had an accident and now they are asking her for $20,000?

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What to do if my daughter’s boyfriend allowed his uncle to borrow her unisured car without her knowledge but he had an accident and now they are asking her for $20,000?

If she doesn’t pay she can’t get her drivers license reinstated. Can she do anything in this case? She was very ill during this time and did not drive the car. She did not go to court because of being sick to the point she could not get out to bed but when she started feeling better she didnt follow through with getting this matter taken care of. Does she have any rights since she did not give permission for the driver to take her car.

Asked on July 29, 2015 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Is your daughter willing to press charges for car theft against her boyfriend and boyfriend's uncle? That is what taking a car without permission means--stealing it. If she is willing to press criminal charges, then she may be able to escape having to pay any damages, fines, etc. since a car's owner is not responsible for the acts of criminals, if the authorities believe her when she tells them that her boyfriend stole the car. If, on the other hand, she is not willing to press charges against her boyfriend and his uncle, that meant that they did have her permission to use her car and, as the car's owner, she can be held liable for the acts of permitted drivers. (Permission can be given after the fact as well as before hand; not filing theft charges is basically permission after the fact.)

Even if the boyfriend and uncle had her permission, if one or both were at fault in causing the accident, she could sue them to get from them any amounts she has to pay because of their actions.


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