I’m in town, home from college, and visiting my parents for the holidays. The other night, I was out with some friends and the buddy that drove us there got a little intoxicated.
When it came time to leave the bar, my friend handed me his keys because he knew he wouldn’t be good to drive. I had only had a couple of beers all day so I accepted the responsibility of getting everyone home safely.
Unfortunately, on the way home, the roads were a little slippery and despite my best efforts, our truck slid on the roadway and we hit another car going around a bend. I thought I would be covered by his insurance under a guest policy or something, but it seems like he had very limited coverage. Now, I’m getting calls from the other driver threatening to sue me for the damage to the vehicle. I feel like I’m in way over my head and I’m supposed to go back to school next week for the new semester. How can I handle this thing?!
Remorseful and Responsible
Dear Remorseful and Responsible,
First of all, good for you for accepting responsibility and not letting your friend drink and drive. If he had, the situation could be much worse. You may not even be here to write this to me.
Unfortunately, despite your best effort to take the high road, sometimes accidents happen. Having a good guest driver insurance policy is a benefit to anyone willing to let someone else drive their car. But, there is nothing you can do to retroactively create one of those policies.
Importantly, your insurance may step in to cover you if you did, in fact, have motor vehicle insurance. This may be your best route to take since you pay for them to take care of you in situations like this. Based on your question, it seems that your friend trusted you and authorized you to drive his vehicle. Another aspect that may come in to play is whether your friend should have even given you the keys in the first place, knowing that you had a few beers earlier in the day. While this may not seem like a bid deal, there are often times claims made against a car or truck owner for their “negligent entrustment” to a party such as yourself. In this instance, your friend may actually be liable and his insurance may be on the hook after all.
Please call my office any time, day or night, to fill me in on more of the details and I will do my best to help you. You may also text me or email us if you would like.
Negligence Accident Lawyer