My son was driving my car and had accident he is not on my insurance what do I say to insurance

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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My son was driving my car and had accident he is not on my insurance what do I say to insurance

My son in law had a car accident in my car and
I didn’t give him permission really. What do I
say to insurance company and what will
happen to him for car wreck. I had liability
insurance on car. Details or any information

Asked on September 17, 2017 under Accident Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

First, either he had permission or he stole the car--there is no in-between. When someone takes your car without permission, even implicit permission, he stole it; and conversely, if you don't report the car as stolen, the driver had permission to use it. So unless you report this car as stolen to the police and look to press charges, you are considered to have allowed him to drive. 
Note that whether the car was stolen or not only has an effect if your son-in-law was at fault in damaging another car or injuring another person. If he was, you would, as the car's owner, be liable, too, for letting the at-fault driver drive. If the car was stolen, however, you are not liable for what the thief then does with it. But if this was a single car accident and you are just interested in  getting the car fixed or totalled, it does not matter whether it was stolen or not: it only matters if you had collision coverage or not.
Note that you can sue your son-in-law for any damage he did to your car, if he was at-fault (e.g. driving carelessly) in causing it. Thus, you could sue him for the repair cost or, if the cost to repair exceeds its then-current fair market (blue book) value, the car's value at the time it was wrecked. You can also sue, if he was at-fault, for other costs you incur: e.g. towing charges; renting a car while this one is repaired;  etc.

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 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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