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Can I be sued by the car's owner?

North Hollywood, CA |
Filed under: Lawsuits and disputes

I was involved in an accident while driving another person's car; he was the passenger in the car while I was driving and gave me permission. He now wants to sue me for damages to his car since he claims that both insurance companies found me at 100% fault (according to him, because I have not fully cooperated by answering their calls).

He had insurance but has an extremely high ($2000) deductible when anyone besides him is driving the car.

Any help would be appreciated.

We have not yet found out who the insurance companies say is at fault; however, I was rear-ended so it's pretty cut and dry. The police came but refused to do a report because there were no injuries. I have no policy at all for any car.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Best answer

    There are some open questions left by your post - it would be helpful for you to clarify. Do you contest that you were at fault? Who does the second insurance company cover, you or another driver? What happened in the accident? Did the police do a report and make a finding? Do you have your own policy for a car that you own? If you do, you need to tell them about the accident and ask them to defend you because yes, the owner can sue you for the deductible he had to cover.

  2. The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that depending on the situation, if he sues you, it may be his own company that is defending and indemnifying you because you had permission to drive his car. The question here is really whether your own insurance, or his insurance, will cover it. California insurance regulation determines which insurance is primary, yours or his.

    This is general advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

  3. Go down to the police station and get a counter report. Report it to your insurance company to resolve.

  4. First his insurance should cover you the permissive driver, just as they would cover the owner. If you are found at fault they should pay for the other vehicles damages. His vehicle should be covered under the collision coverage. However, it will seem reasonable if you were at fault you should pay the deductible. If the other vehicle is found at fault they should pay everything.