My question involves a traffic accident in the State of: PA
My daughter is 17 with a full drivers license.
Her best friend was out of town. The best friend has a car - not hers, but its one of her parents, but she drives it all the time. Friend says to my kid, "you can borrow my car this weekend if you want, I'm out of town". I have no knowledge of this, neither does the other parents.
Well, my kid borrows the car after calling the friend and getting permission, picks up a friend, and gets into an accident at a dangerous intersection. Both cars are totalled - the other cars driver and passenger request to go to the hospital. My kid and her friend decline, they were ok. My kid got a ticket. Police report shows it was her fault.
After thanking God everyone is ok, I call my insurance agent. He says that the insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver, so unfortunately, its up to BFF's dad to deal with all this. I call him and we have a cordial talk - he's really not sounding too upset, more concerned about the kids being ok.
Once I get my kid home, I give her the hug, the tears flow from her, then she gets the lecture. Grounded till forever and don't even think about driving again for at least 6 months. Not letting us know she's driving someone else's car? WTF was she thinking?
A day later, I'm talking to the dad again. I tell him about the insurance issue and I'll cover any deductible on his policy. He's still cool about it, his biggest worry now is being without the car. So I'm telling him that he needs to check his insurance, it should cover rentals. He says he has collision, which should cover the cost of the vehicle - bb value about 4k.
This is all two weeks ago. What I find out later is that his deductible is 1000!! I'm floored, I'm thinking maybe 500 max. I simply don't have that, unless I pull a cash advance. I tell him I had no idea it was that much, would he be willing to split the difference since both parties were kinda at fault. He says, "I'll discuss with my wife".
Ok, wife calls, and reams me a new one. Says my offer of half is tantamount to paying nothing. That she's been without a car for two weeks, juggling cars, her work is affected, missing work. Apparently they have no rental insurance. She got a check for 3k for the car, but she can't find a good used car for that much, she's crying the blues that she's going to have to put out her own money in addition to my 1k (if I decide to pay). Yeah, her princess is at fault for lending out the car, but thats besides the point, I made an agreement to pay the deductible. I told her that was BEFORE I knew the amount....my insurance agent says, "the problem is if she takes you to court, she'll no doubt add a bunch of crap, like rental fees, missed work, plus lawyer fees...God knows what else...." My insurance won't get involved since there's been some kind of initial verbal agreement, and I do feel somewhat morally responsible due to my kids dumb decision, but holy hell...your kid has some blame in this as well, lending your car out as a taxi to an inexperienced driver. My kid isn't allowed to drive without an adult, even though she had a full license. Thats the rules we have.
Now here's another twist: Ok, she's ranting and says, "Look, I'll sign an agreement stating that after you pay me, we're all free and clear and we exonerate you of everything". I thought about it and said I'd let her know after the weekend.
Everyone I've spoken with says do NOT do anything about this, especially write some kind of "agreement". Not knowing the mental state of this woman, who is to say she won't bring that back to HER own insurance and say, "hey, look, he paid my deductible" - if that happens, her company salivates and its basically admitting some kind of wrong doing on my part, even though its a moral "obligation" - however, moral obligations don't exist in the eyes of the law. Or the other party that was hit finds out about this and wants their own reimbursement from me personally. Even my agent advised against this, she said let them bring you to court, we have no say in this anyway.
Any thoughts or ideas on what I should do?