If my 19 year old son took my car while I was sleeping and hit another car, what is my liability?

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If my 19 year old son took my car while I was sleeping and hit another car, what is my liability?

He hit a parked car. The other party is stating they were getting in the vehicle when he hit them. My son had a alcohol level 0.02 and no license. I have full coverage insurance. My car is in impound for 30 days. The insurance I have sucks.

Asked on August 5, 2014 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Unless he stole the car, you are as liable as he was for the damage he did while at fault; the owner of a car is liable for any damage done by permitted drivers.

If he stole it, you may be able to escape liability--but you'd most likely have to file a police report and press charges against him; only if the court is *really* convinced your car was stolen, might you escape liability (he'd still be liable, of course, and also face charges for theft).

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Unless he stole the car, you are as liable as he was for the damage he did while at fault; the owner of a car is liable for any damage done by permitted drivers.

If he stole it, you may be able to escape liability--but you'd most likely have to file a police report and press charges against him; only if the court is *really* convinced your car was stolen, might you escape liability (he'd still be liable, of course, and also face charges for theft).


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