Asked in Car Accidents and Small Claims for Oregon

Q: I rolled a friend's side by side I had permission He gave me a bill for 13k. I can't pay it so he's suing me Am I liable

The bill was typed by him and not from a shop. I've asked him to turn it in to insurance but he won't. He's now threatening to sue me. I will happily pay the deductible but can't pay the 13k he wants in cash. What are my options? I was actually a volunteer employee at an event he was putting on when it happened.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brad  Holbrook
Brad Holbrook
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Newberg, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: First, I am very sorry about your accident. Second, I am glad that you did not say you were injured in the acccident.

Last, are you liable? This is not something that I can completely answer without knowing all the facts of the accident. However, if you were driving in a negligent and/or intentional/reckless manner, then you could be liable for damage caused to his property--regardless of whether he allowed you to borrow the vehicle. However, if you are not responsible for the accident, then you would only likely be liable if you agreed to pay for any and all damage(s) you caused to the vechicle. In short, you woud have had to agree to be strictly liable. It does not sound like you agreed to reimburse him for all damage(s). In order to sue you, he should obtain actual bills and proof damage and costs, not just bills he created. Also, you are only required to pay the fair market value (FMV) of the vehicle at the time of the accident, so if the vehicle is totaled, (it would cost more to repair than it is worth), you only need to pay the amount it is worth. If you feel you are liable, perhaps you could give the amount of his dedcutible, apologize, and hopefully, in the long run the relationship will not be destroyed over this. Otherwise, if you are sued, you should seek consultation with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. You often have a short time to respond to a complaint. You did not say when the accident occured. There is a six (6) year statute of limitations on property loss claims in Oregon. If it is more than six years, you are not likely liable for the damages. Best of luck to you!

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