WouldI be able to bringmy roommate to small claims court and sue her, if she let someone who was drunk drive my car and they had an had an accident?

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WouldI be able to bringmy roommate to small claims court and sue her, if she let someone who was drunk drive my car and they had an had an accident?

My roommate borrowed my car with my permission but then let her friend who was drunk drive without my knowledge that anyone else was in the vehicle. My roommate’s friend ended up totalling my car. Would I be able to bring her small claims court and sue her for my $500 deductible along with the $68 that was added to my insurance bill for the next 3 months?

Asked on October 24, 2011 under Accident Law, Missouri

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can sue your roommate for negligent entrustment for letting the drunk drive your car.  You can also sue the drunk for negligence.  You would file one lawsuit naming both defendants.  Your damages ( the amount of compensation  you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be for the damage to your car.  You can include the deductible and the additional insurance charge in your damages.  If you are seeking compensation for the loss of your car, you wouldn't want to file in Small Claims Court because the maximum you can recover (which varies from state to state) is probably not sufficient to compensate you for the loss of your car.  You would want to file your lawsuit in a higher court such as Municipal or Superior.  Your state may have different names for the higher courts where their jurisdiction will allow you to recover more than in Small Claims.


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