Can my friend be held liable for damaging my car if they wrecked it? 21 Answers as of June 25, 2013

I gave consent to a friend to borrow my vehicle. They are not covered on my auto insurance and they wrecked my car. They were taken to jail. Can the friend be held liable for the costs?

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David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
Yes, but if there is no insurance to cover the damages, a judgment against your friend may be worthless.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 9/15/2011
Patrick M Lamar Attorney
Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
Yes, if you can find a way to make them pay eventually.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 9/14/2011
Dunnings Law Firm
Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
First, you need to file a claim with your insurance company. If your friend had his own auto insurance policy, you will be able to recover up to $500 of your insurance deductible from that company. If no insurance coverage, you have to sue him and good luck on collecting a judgment against him if he has little to no income.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/14/2011
Coulter's Law
Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
Sure. Just because you gave consent to use your vehicle does not mean you gave consent to wreck the car. You would have to prove your friend was negligent (i.e. driving inappropriately at the time of the accident). It is more complicated than that, but that is a snapshot.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 9/14/2011
Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
Assuming that your friend was at fault for wrecking the vehicle which seems pretty clear from your question, then the answer is yes. You can seek compensation from him for the damage to the vehicle. If you had insurance on your car, you'd probably be much better off starting with them and letting the insurance company pay you. They will go after your friend to get their money back if he was at fault.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/17/2012
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    If you have comprehensive insurance coverage, your insurance *might* cover your damages. You do have a cause of action against your friend for damaging your vehicle, but collecting on it might prove difficult. You would need to sue your friend and then collect on the judgment.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/14/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes. But I don't know why he or she is not covered. The insurance goes with the car.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/14/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    Yes. The person who causes damage can always be held responsible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/14/2011
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    If your friend wrecked your car, your friend should be responsible for payment for the damages.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/14/2011
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
    Yes, your friend can be held liable for causing an accident while driving your vehicle. You may pursue a claim under his automobile liability insurance policy if he has one. Although he may not be a named insured on your policy, most policies include coverage for permissive drivers. Since you granted him consent to operate your vehicle, then he is considered a permissive driver. Your policy of insurance covers him. Unfortunately, if he was at-fault for the accident and you do not have collision coverage on your vehicle and he doesn't have his own liability coverage, then you will have to pursue him personally for all damages resulting from his negligence.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 9/14/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Yes, they can, if their negligence damaged your car.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/25/2013
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    Yes, definitely.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/25/2013
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
    Yes, if your friend is at fault for causing the accident.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 6/25/2013
    D'Andrea Law | Kathy D'Andrea
    You may sue your friend (or their insurance) for damages to your car. If they try to defend themselves by saying you gave consent you might be able to argue (depending on the the additional facts of the case) that their behavior went beyond the scope of your consent. I would advise you to contact an attorney to better understand your rights in this matter.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    Yes, if your friend acted negligently or did so intentionally.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    Yes. If you allowed the friend to drive your car, your friend is covered by your auto insurance.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    If you gave consent your insurance should cover the use. If you have collision insurance the damages should be paid by your carrier. You can certainly sue your friend if he were careless or reckless about his driving.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    Unless the wreck was caused by a mechanical defect your friend is liable for the costs. Submit a claim to your auto insurance anyway and also submit a claim to your friend's auto insurance.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Judnich Law Office
    Judnich Law Office | Martin W. Judnich
    If you gave permission to use your car, then there should be some coverage for you. If it is just repair of your car, just pay your deductible. If that does not work, yes, your friend can be held liable for any costs you incur. 1-3354
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    It depends on your coverage. If he was a permissive user but you only had liability coverage, then it would be the same as if you crashed your vehicle without full coverage. Check the Declarations Page from your last insurance bill and call your agent to have her explain why you don't have coverage for permissive use of the insured vehicle. In any event, your friend is responsible for his own carelessness and should pay the damages. You will find out how much your friendship is worth.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 9/13/2011
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