Who should I sue after my car was totalled if it’s not clear who was driving?

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Who should I sue after my car was totalled if it’s not clear who was driving?

I lent my car to a friend and he said that he totalled it. I didn’t call the police. I called my insurance and they agreed it was a complete loss, but said that he stated his wife was driving during the incident. He then told me he didn’t want his insurance company to know. He said he’d pay the deductible, but now won’t take my calls. She is the only one with a job. If we had to garnish wages, who should I sue for the deductible?

Asked on June 10, 2011 under Accident Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Ok well you - or whomever was driving it and you - needs to file a police report as soon as you can.  You reported it to your insurance company promptly and that was a good move.  If your friend  - and I use that term loosely - will not return your calls then you need to be as accurate as possible on the report with the facts as you know them to be.   The issue is going to boil down to what is known as permissive use.  You gave your permission for him to drive it not his wife, correct?  And that is what the insurance company is stating, correct?  Then you should speak with an attorney in you  area as to the law and if the transfer, so to speak, of custody to his wife will void the insurance policy.  It will have then been a non-permissive use case and then you may have to report it stole, in a manner of speaking.  At this point in time I would not really care that he did not want his insurance company to find out.  They will eventually because if your isnruacne company pays the claim they will sue hiis insurance company.  As for the deductible, sue them both.  Good luck. 


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