I found out later that she had taken clonazepam before she started driving my car. Now I may loose my job for time missed due to the accident. Is there a way I can sue her for negligance? She never admitted to being on clonazepam while driving but when I asked her she didn't give me a straight forward answer.
First you should look to your insurance. If that isn't enough, you can sue your "friend", but unless she has extraordinary assets, it may be unprofitable to sue an individual.
[In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship.]
I am licensed in Nevada, but this answer should apply in Utah as well.
First, you should speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer about your case.
There may be an issue of comparative negligence in your case. Utah is a 50% modified comparative negligence state. What this means is that if you are found 50% or more at fault you cannot collect damages from the other driver or drivers. If you are less than 50% at fault you can collect the other driver or drivers' percentage of fault. For instance, if you are 25% at fault, then you can collect 75% of your damages from the other driver or drivers.
Now, what can you be at fault for? In this case, the only thing you can be at fault for would be letting the driver drive your car with the knowledge that she was unable to do so safely. That would include allowing her to drive IF you knew she was not a safe driver or IF you knew she was under the influence of a drug .
Another issue is imputed negligence. In Nevada, a person who is in the car and allows another to drive it is presumed that the driver is operating the car as an agent of the owner. This presumption can be rebutted if the evidence shows that the owner did not retain control of the direction of the car. This may be true in your case. You should speak to an attorney about how this issue is handled in Utah.
Your attorney will also need to determine if your driver, the other driver or both are at fault for the accident. As you can see, there are difficult issues in this case and they need to be sorted out as soon as possible.
Hope this helps.
/s Donald Kudler
This answer does not create an attorney client relationship and does not constitute legal advice, but is solely the opinion of a Nevada Attorney.
The other advice is correct you need to speak to an experienced attorney. You don't say if you suffered injuries and if that is why you missed work. You would be entitled to compensation through the insurance company. You should also talk to the same or a different attorney about your employment situation. If you are unable to work due to injuries they cannot fire you.
This response does not create an ongoing duty to respond to questions, nor does it form an attorney-client relationship, it is simply the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. The Answering Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Responses are based solely on Pennsylvania law unless stated otherwise.
I agree with the other attorneys. Although, it is difficult to give an accurate evaluation of your case based on the limited information provided. It is always best to contact an experienced injury attorney who can evaluate all the facts and help determine your next best course of action. You are always welcome to call for a free evaluation of your case.
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