If someone is driving your car with permission and has an accident, can you sue them for the deductible?

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If someone is driving your car with permission and has an accident, can you sue them for the deductible?

My son’s friend was driving my car to our new house. He subsequently hit my son who in turn was driving my other car. The car the friend was driving was a total loss and the other car had $7,500 worth of damage. I was required to pay the deductible for both cars. Can I sue the friend for the deductible money?

Asked on August 15, 2011 Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you may sue the friend. Having permission to drive someone's car does not absolve one from the responsibility to drive carefully. The main issue would be whether he was in some way negligent, or unreasonably careless. If he was, then you could sue him for any costs not covered by your insurance, which in this case would be the deductibles. If he was not careless, however--if, for example, it was your own son who was negligent and caused the accident, such as by turning without warning in front of the other vehicle--then your son's friend will not be legally liability; liability in an auto accident context generally depends on fault, so only if there is fault (deliberate wrongdoing or, as if more common, negligence or carelessness) is there liability and an obligation to pay.


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