Who is responsible for the damages made to my car and should they be paying to fix it?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Who is responsible for the damages made to my car and should they be paying to fix it?

My roommate borrowed my car one evening to go out. I gave him consent to use the
car to pay our shared utility bill, so I told him where to find the keys and my
half of the payment because I was stuck in class and could not make it there in
time. He kept the car that evening and said that he was going to a party. I find
out much later that night after I got back home that the car was damaged wherever
he had been and he gave me some crazy story that someone hit the car while it was
parked but two auto body repair shops and my mechanic agreed that the car ran
into something. I feel as though he made up this story about it being hit just so
that he can shed the blame off of himself. I know that I am to blame for so
carelessly lending it to him, but I trust people too easily and he has borrowed
it a few times before to do errand such as pickup groceries etc…

Asked on June 15, 2018 under Accident Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If your roommate was at fault in damaging your car--that is, he was driving negligently or carelessly or recklessly--then he is liable (responsible) for the cost to repair; anyone who negligently, etc. damages another's property is liable for the damage he does. If he will not voluntarily pay an amount you find acceptable, you could sue him for the money, if there is evidence (e.g. the opinion of the body shops and mechanic) that he caused the damage.

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