If my son let his friend drive my car and he had an accident but the insurer did not give me all that I had in it, can I go after the kid for the difference?

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If my son let his friend drive my car and he had an accident but the insurer did not give me all that I had in it, can I go after the kid for the difference?

My insurance only paid me a portion of my car. I took over a $3,500 loss have sent two letters to him and his father no response.

Asked on March 26, 2012 under Accident Law, Nebraska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) If you believe the insurer improperly did not pay you the full repair cost or, if the car was totalled, it's full then-current (or blue book) value, you could sue you own insurer to force them to fully honor their obligations under the policy. Note that an insurer typically does not have to make sure you don't take a loss--for example, the then-current fair market value of your car is likely well under replacement cost. So only if you feel they did not pay the actual fair market or repair value, is this worth it.

2) You could sue the friend of your son (or his father/family, if he's a minor) for your out-of-pocket or unreimbursed losses, if you believe he was at fault. (His liability depends on fault.) You could, as one option, sue in small claims court, where you could act as you own attorney to save on legal fees.


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