Test drive accident and whos responsible.

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Test drive accident and whos responsible.

I let a man test drive my truck with the intentions of buying it. We did not get a quarter of a mile when he lost control and hit a phone pole head on at 35-45 mph totaling it. He then got out and ran but was later arrested. I had cancelled my insurance because I wasn’t driving it and was planning on selling it, a mistake on my part. Can I sue him? Is that my only option?

Asked on July 31, 2016 under Accident Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if you don't have insurance to compensate you, your only option is to sue the driver. Since he evidently was at fault for driving carelessly (since it is essentially by definition to be careless to hit a stationary object, like a telephone pole), you should have an excellent chance of winning. You can sue for the lesser of the cost to repair your truck or its then-current fair market (or blue book) value. Bear in mind, however, that if he does not have money and does not have a steady, reasonably paying job whose wages you could garnish, you could win in court and still not get any money, since a court judgment does not make money appear where there is none.


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