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17yo permit driver property damage liability

by Maria

my 17yo daughter with only a driving permit who was living with her father was allowed to drive his truck to the store.

She went too fast down a bend and landed on top of an electric transformer knocking out electricity to 3sq. blocks.

She moved in with me a month later (and also turned 18 in that month).

5 months after te accident (2 weeks ago) she received a bill from the electric company suing her for $20,000 for repair/labor. Shouldn't her fathers insurance take care of this? Will she need an attorney? She doesn't even have a job and is still in high school.


Hello Maria,

I am sorry to hear about your daughter's accident. I am happy however to learn that she is ok.

The well established rule is that insurance follows the car. Meaning that since she was driving her dad's car, then whatever policy he had on that vehicle would cover that accident. If there is no insurance on that vehicle, then she would probably be covered under the policy of the household she was leaving at (an investigation would be done on this. Who had custody, is it joint or temporary, is it only a vacation, etc.)

This type of assessment is not voluntary, in other words, it is not up to you or the dad to decide which insurance pays. The policy would have to cover her for the damages she caused. If she is being suit formally, she will need an attorney and the insurance company will probably furnish her with one. You do need to file a claim as soon as you can, this type of thing is time sensitive and you want to make sure they are aware of the situation.

I hope this helps some,

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