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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Default Teen Borrowed Car and Wrecked It

    My question involves a traffic accident in the State of: PA

    Legal question.

    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?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Teen Borrowed Car and Wrecked It

    Your kid crashed the car; she should be coming up with the money to pay for the deductible. She's liable for the full $1,000.

  3. #3
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    May 2009
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    Default Re: Teen Borrowed Car and Wrecked It

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    Your kid crashed the car; she should be coming up with the money to pay for the deductible. She's liable for the full $1,000.
    Why? Is this a law written anywhere? Morally responsible, yes, for at least half. Legally?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Teen Borrowed Car and Wrecked It

    She crashed the car. Why would you think she has no liability for her negligent acts?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Default Re: Teen Borrowed Car and Wrecked It

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    She crashed the car. Why would you think she has no liability for her negligent acts?
    Because the one lending the car is just as responsible and negligent for loaning it out to an inexperienced driver. And I didn't say she had NO liability. She shares in the blame - from the girl who carelessly lets people use her daddy's car as a taxi to my kid, who shouldn't have used it in the first place.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    273

    Default Re: Teen Borrowed Car and Wrecked It

    Quote Quoting JimBob
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    Because the one lending the car is just as responsible and negligent for loaning it out to an inexperienced driver. And I didn't say she had NO liability. She shares in the blame - from the girl who carelessly lets people use her daddy's car as a taxi to my kid, who shouldn't have used it in the first place.
    ..And the banks are responsible for giving people credit cards...

    Her fault. She pays the deductible. Move on.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    2

    Default Re: Teen Borrowed Car and Wrecked It

    Let them sue you in small claims - it won't go anywhere because the same exact thing happened to me.

    We had 2 cars, one our son used for casual usage to and from school. His "buddy" needed to get a few things while my son was at football practice, so son lent him the car. Car was completely trashed by his buddy - since son gave him the ok, the car was written off as a "loaner loss" by my insurance company. I got a check for 2300, minus the deductible. I had a $500 deductible. Called kid and his parents several times, wrote letters, everything to try to get them to pay. Finally took him to small claims court, where it was dismissed due to the fact that since ANYONE is covered under the policy once you give permission, its the same as ME or SON wrecking the car.

    Should you pay? Morally, yes. Legally, you don't have to. If the kid, in my case offered half, I would've taken it, given that my son wasn't intelligent enough to use his common sense.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    636

    Default Re: Teen Borrowed Car and Wrecked It

    Why is there even a deductible in question. Being the car is totaled. There should not be a deductible to pay. Deductibles are paid when the vehicle is being repaired by the insurance company.

    Out of the 3 vehicles I totaled in my life time. I have never had to pay a deductible.

    Even if the vehicle was bought back to be repaired by the owner. There would be no deductible to be paid.

    You don't pay an insurance company a deductible to receive a check on a totaled vehicle. At least I never have in my life.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    2

    Default Re: Teen Borrowed Car and Wrecked It

    I think what OP was referring to was that the deductible was subtracted from the check the insurance company paid for fair market value of the car. Thats how it went for me, I had a car valued at 2800, they sent me a check for 2300 and some paperwork telling me the $500 was deducted from said check.

    I'm pretty sure thats the whole meaning of deductible. You pay them to cover your car in the event of an accident. Why you never had to pay a deductible is unusual, unless you weren't responsible for the accident. Example being, if another car hit you, you wouldn't be responsible for your own deductible, the other person's insurance would cover it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    636

    Default Re: Teen Borrowed Car and Wrecked It

    Hmmm I never had deductible deducted from settlement either. I guess that is because I live in a No fault state.

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