If my 19 year old son accidentally backed one car into another while working at a car dealership and caused roughly $3500 in damage, is he liable for the $2500 deductible?

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If my 19 year old son accidentally backed one car into another while working at a car dealership and caused roughly $3500 in damage, is he liable for the $2500 deductible?

He was working as a car porter and was embarrassed by the situation so quit the job. They have now sent him a letter claiming he owes them $2500 which they claim is their deductible for the accident. I am wondering if he is truly liable for this amount.

Asked on July 10, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, unfortunately he would be liable. An at-fault driver, such as someone who drove negligently or carelessly (and it is negligent or careless to back into another car) is liable for all costs or damages he causes. The dealership can seek the deductible from him, and sue him if he will not pay; the insurer could, under its rights of "subrogation" (to be reimbursed for amounts it pays out), if it chooses seek to recover the monies it pays out to the dealership from him. It would not be inappropriate for him to ask for documentation or proof of the amounts before paying; but if the amounts are legitimate and he does not pay, he could be sued and based on what you write would, from what you write, lose.


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