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My friend crashed my car, who is legally responsible for the damages.

New York, NY |

I was in a pinch and asked my friend to park my car. As she was backing out another car sped by and hit the back of my car. They didn't stop, just kept going so no one got any contact info. My insurance company wont cover it. This happened earlier today. I went to a mechanic and the damages total almost 2000 dollars. Who is liable to pay for the damages to my car, me or my friend who was driving? This happened in New York, NY. Also my friend does not have a licence, only a learner permit.

Attorney Answers 7

  1. See the answers to our previous post.

    I am only licensed in Arkansas. No part of this answer should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship.

  2. Under NY law the owner is as respsosible for the negligence of someone driving the car with permission. Why won't your carrier cover the loss?

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

  3. From the sounds of it, it was really the fault of the driver who sped past. I would look at your policy and see why your insurance is denying coverage.

    I am licensed in California, therefore, my answers are based on general prinicpals of law or California law, which may not be applicable in your jurisdiction. Answers posted to Avvo are for general information only. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case. Every case depends is fact dependent, and responses are limited to and is based on the information you posted. No attorney-client relationship shall be created through the use reading of this response on Avvo. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information in this response.

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  5. Assuming your friend was not at fault for the damages, the driver and the owner of the other vehicle are the parties responsible for your loss. Since you are unable to identify these parties, you only recourse is to submit your claim to your own insurance company, assuming you have collision coverage. Your recovery would then be limited to the amount of the loss less any deductible. Without such coverage, you would have no way of being compensated for your claim.

    Alfred Laub

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  6. Ultimately, you are responsible for paying to repair your vehicle. You knowingly gave your vehicle to an unlicensed and inexperienced driver and now face the consequences. She could have seriously injured or killed someone else, including the operator of the vehicle that she negligently backed into, and you would have been responsible. Vehicle & Traffic Law section 1211 provides that the "driver of a vehicle shall not back up unless such movement can be made with safety and without interfering with other traffic." From your description, it sounds like she clearly violated this section. Could there be some liability against the other vehicle, sure, but very little if any. In any event, you can't identify this phantom vehicle. I'm assuming you did not see the accident since you didn't have time to park your own car. So, how do you know your friend didn't back into something else due to her inexperience? My guess is the insurance company isn't paying either because you had no collision coverage, or it disclaimed for by reason of you knowingly entrusting the vehicle to an unlicensed driver. You could ask your friend to contribute to the repairs, sue her for trying to do you a favor, or learn from the error of your ways.

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