If my sister crashed an ATV that was not hers but which she was given permission to drive, what is her liability?

UPDATED: Aug 8, 2012

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If my sister crashed an ATV that was not hers but which she was given permission to drive, what is her liability?

The adult male that allowed my sister to drive it was giving alcohol to minors. (My sister being one of them) my sister was injured, and damage was done to the vehicle. He is now trying to make her pay the damages which are over $4000.

Asked on August 8, 2012 under Accident Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if your sister damaged another person's property through negligence or carelessness--such as driving while intoxicated, or just generally driving carelessly--she is liable for the damage. If she will not pay voluntarily, or work out some mutually agreeable settlement, he could sue her for the money.

Other factors at work here:

1) If he served your sister, a minor, alcohal, that factor--his own negligence or wrongdoing--could reduce what he could recover; in some cases, even eliminate it. However, there is no way to tell without much more detail what the effect would be. So this is in your sister's favor, but she should not count on it to exonerate her.

2) If your sister is a minor, it is her parents or legal guardian who will likely be liable for her accident.

With $4,000 at stake, your sister and her parents/legal guarandian(s) should consult with an attorney about this situation.

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.

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