Am I at fault?

Asked over 3 years ago - Eatonton, GA

I let a friend that I didn't know very well use my truck while I was on a boat ride. Well I get home and stated drinking. Well the guy called an said he was going to stick my keys in my door. I said ok. Well the police showed up and said my truck was stuck in someone field. Well I can't get intouch with the guy that drove my truck. Well they towed it an placed a hold on it. Well turns out the guy that said he was the property owner and is pressing charges doesn't own the property. A bank does. And he doesn't even have a lease with them. What do I do?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Benjamin Stephen Persons IV

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . Civil liability and potential criminal punishment are two separate issues. I'm not exactly sure from these limited facts which should be a greater concern at this point.

    As to criminal punishment, if the police believe you have broken the law (DUI, criminal damage to property, trespass, etc) they can charge you with a crime whether the property owner wants to press charges or not. If there is a criminal investigation going on, you would be wise to contact a criminal lawyer in your area before you agree to a police interview.

    As to civil liability, when you loan a vehicle to someone and that person causes property damage you are potentially liable for those damages. It will depend on the specific facts of your case whether you will be considered liable. Regardless of your liability, your friend will likely be considered a permissive user and covered by the insurance policy on your truck.

    You should report this incident to your insurance company right away. Failure to promptly report an incident to an insurance company can sometimes lead to a denial of coverage. Your insurance company will investigate the incident and determine the strength or weakness of the claim. They will also hire a lawyer to defend you if you are sued. If you are sued, send copies of everything to the insurance company.

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