Rancho Palos Verdes, CA asked in Traffic Tickets and Car Accidents for California

Q: My 18yr old son was driving my rental car and met with accident.

He is not on the rental car agreement nor is on my auto insurance. The other car(2008 Toyota SUV) was damaged and there was damage to the rental car as well. There was no injury to my son and the other party also did not have any injuries. The other party did not call the police and they waited for me to arrive at the scene. I exchanged my drivers license and insurance with them as they said they will use my information. Before I arrived at the scene, they reported the incident to their insurance company(both have the same insurance company). The insurance person called and left a message. He said that their client is claiming that someone was driving my car but do not have the information of that person. Need some advice on how to navigate this case.

2 Lawyer Answers
Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: CONTACT A LOCAL LAWYER TO REVIEW ALL FACTS WITH HIM/HER....AND MAYBE TALK TO THE OTHER SIDE

BE HONEST

THEY WILL PROBABLY PROCEED WITH UM, BUT TECHNICALLY YOU ARE LIABLE.

YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE ALLOWED ANOTHER DRIVER, ESPECIALLY A MINOR, LET ALONE YOUR SON, DRIVE THE CAR.........YOU PERSONALLY WILL PROBABLY HAVE EXPOSURE AND IF THE OTHER INS CO PAYS OUT, THEY CAN GO AFTER YOU...BUT DEPENDING ON YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION THEY MAY NOT WASTE THE MONEY.

1 user found this answer helpful

William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Insurance fraud is a crime. Claiming you were driving to trigger your policy is insurance fraud.

You are going to have to take this one on the chin, assuming that you gave your son permission to drive the car. You are liable to the rental company for the damage done to its car. As the bailee of the owner of the car, you are liable to others for permissive use of the car if there was an at fault collision which caused property damage (up to $5k) and/or bodily injury (up to $15k/person, $30k/accident). If you didn't give your son permission, you might not be liable, but then your son would be guilty of auto theft.

1 user found this answer helpful

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.