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My friend totaled my car... whose responsible?

I let a friend drive my 2000 van since I had just purchased a new vehicle and my husband uses a company van. The intention was to give her the pink slip and let her have the van. I kept insurance on it until the transaction was complete. I am a procastinator and hadn't gotten around to ordering a replacement title. She totaled it in another state. She said she junked it since it was totaled. But she is now driving a brand new SUV. My sister thinks she traded it in on the new SUV. If she did, I don't know how without the title. But if she really totalled it am I going to get sued? Will the tow truck or junk yard come after me? She acts like its all taken care of but I am concerned. I gave her the van so I dont care if she traded it, I just don't want to find out I am financially responsible for her accident, if she really had one. What do you think I should do?

 
MokaMommy

Asked by MokaMommy at 3:26 PM on Sep. 1, 2010 in Money & Work

Level 8 (235 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • You owned it, you insured it, you let her drive it. Regardless of who's at fault in the accident itself, you're the one liable. Definitely get a copy of the accident report.

    Curious though ... the insurance company is the party that would declare a vehicle "totaled" - and they would also only pay off to you. How has this vehicle been declared "totaled"?
    caseyandkids

    Answer by caseyandkids at 3:38 PM on Sep. 1, 2010

  • You're at fault.
    SuperrMommyy

    Answer by SuperrMommyy at 3:29 PM on Sep. 1, 2010

  • she couldn't sell it without a title, and couldn't have gotten money if she was not on your insurance coverage.
    something is fishy here
    peanutsmommy1

    Answer by peanutsmommy1 at 3:31 PM on Sep. 1, 2010

  • You are responsible. You need to press her for a copy of the accident report, the bill of sale to the junkyard (they give them even if you give your car to be junked), ect.

    Gailll

    Answer by Gailll at 3:32 PM on Sep. 1, 2010

  • Wow!!! Big legal!!! Mess!!! I am sure u will be sued!!! The fact is u let her have it even though it was stil legally yours.
    So yeah!!! u r responsible!!! now here is the thing,she does not get to walk away from this mess. She will have to go to court with u!!!! I hope she is not still your friend!!!!
    dancer

    Answer by dancer at 3:32 PM on Sep. 1, 2010

  • call for a police report in the state she "totaled it" in. Then you will know what happened. Or maybe you could go through carfax. I don't know how long it takes them to record stuff though. You should give you insurance agent a heads up and cancel the insurance too.
    LoveMyDog

    Answer by LoveMyDog at 3:34 PM on Sep. 1, 2010

  • I don't know but I can tell you this- my husband was holding a title while he sold a car to a real sleazy jerk who was making payments. They sleazy jerk sold the car to someone else before my husband got the title transfered and disapeared. My husband was young and didn't think about the title, he was just mad he got jipped out of the money for the can. A few YEARS later he got a letter from a junk yard with a ticket saying he needed to pay for the towing of the car. It was a big mess. I would suggest acting now to find out what you can do to resolve it. You need to talk to your "friend" and make sure she knows if you get tickets or fines, she needs to pay them.
    GingerMom33

    Answer by GingerMom33 at 3:45 PM on Sep. 1, 2010

  • She is at fault, because she didn't have legal rights over the car without the title. Even if you had given it to her, without the title being signed over to her she did not have legal rights to do anything with it. However, since it is your car they will come and talk to you if there are any issues. You just need to get a lawyer and talk to them about making her souly responsible for the accident and other fees that insue.
    JazzlikeMraz

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 3:53 PM on Sep. 1, 2010

  • I am scared. At first when she left me the message, I was just glad noone was hurt. She said it was a one car accident and the towing company said it was totaled. I want to believe her but I have this horrible feeling I am going to get screwed somehow. I have asked her for the name of the towing company, the name of the junkyard and a copy of the accident report. I am still waiting. If I have to I will pay for it but I will sue her since she was the driver and had been using the car for months prior to the accident. I just don't want anything poppling up later. Also should I contact my insurance company now or when I get the info from her?
    MokaMommy

    Comment by MokaMommy (original poster) at 4:24 PM on Sep. 1, 2010

  • My car was totaled in an accident last year. It's not the towing company who determines whether it's totaled or not. It's the insurance company and only the insurance company.  After our insurance company determined the car was totaled, they bought it from us and paid us for it.   It was the insurance company who then sold it to a junk yard.  Nothing about your friend's story ads up.

    HotMama330

    Answer by HotMama330 at 4:39 PM on Sep. 1, 2010

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