My son’s 11 year old friend attempted to move my car without my permission and damaged my car. Who is responsible?

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My son’s 11 year old friend attempted to move my car without my permission and damaged my car. Who is responsible?

After church I gave my son and his friend both 11 the keys to the car and told
them to go ‘get in the car’ while I got my other child. His friend decided he’d
play around and try to put my car into gear. He ended up hitting a tree in the
church parking lot, causing 3,000 in damage. The parents initially accepted
responsibility and assured me they would pay for damages. Upon finding out the
extent of the damage and the cost, they said they would only pay for my
deductible and I should file it on my insurance. He’s 11. He knew that he did
not have my permission to move my car. Who is legally responsible in Alabama?

Asked on May 9, 2017 under Accident Law, Alabama

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the parents for negligence for the property damage caused by their child. Your damages would be the cost of repairs to your car.
You can file your lawsuit in small claims court.  Upon prevailing in the case, you can recover the property damage to your car and court costs.  Court costs include the court filing fee and process server fee.
You can enforce your court judgment against the parents with a wage garnishment or lien on their property. 


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