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I drove a drunk friend home in his car at his request. Bumper was slightly damaged and I paid for repairs. Do I owe a new one?

Chino, CA |

A friend drank too much and asked me to drive his car home as I was not drunk. I parked and scraped the bottom of his fender and upon backing out of the spot, the edges of the fender got pulled out. I popped them back in and I told him I'd pay for the repair which I did outside of our insurance companies. It was for a new fender lining and repair to a tab and clip inside the outer edge of the original fender's passenger side. He was happy with the repairs until a couple months later when he hit a piece of tire on the freeway and his bumper, grill, and logo were damaged. The bumper no longer fits properly on either side on the car and a gap can be seen under the head lights. Fast forward to 6 months later and he now wants me to pay to have the fender replaced. Am I responsible?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    You are responsible only for the damage that was caused when you were driving and not for any damage caused by a subsequent accident. The best practice is to get a release from a person when you settle a claim, but I understand that this was between friends.

    Good luck.


  2. You are not responsible for subsequent damage to the bumper.


  3. No. The damage that you caused is too attenuated to the damage caused by the tire on the freeway. If he presses the issue, turn it over to your insurance.

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  5. I don't see how you would be responsible for this new problem. You restored his car to its condition before you damaged it. Once that occurred, it was his to drive again and if he wrecks it, it is his responsibility, not yours. If he pushes the matter, turn the claim over to your automobile liability insurance carrier, which is what you probably should have done in the first place.

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