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Son drove girlfriend's car that is in parents' name with her permission but not theirs.

by Lydia

Son drove his girlfriend's car with her permission but three weeks prior to that night the parents told him not to drive it. On the night of the accident which they say he was driving reckless, the daughter gave him her permission to take the car to the store to buy playing cards.

He did not get a ticket or arrested by the cops even though the parents were trying for three hours to get him for theft of the vehicle.

They filed a claim with my insurance agency through their attorney and of course it was denied because it wasn't my policy covering their vehicle.

My insurance has since gone up in price but now they have served him with papers to pay up to 15,000 dollars for all the damages.

The car may be worth 5,000 by the books but it was in awful shape with many things not working. He may have been reckless but it was an accident and the cops deemed it to be so. He did not receive a ticket nor was he arrested for theft.

Are the chances great that the judge will rule in their favor or is there any laws governing "permission" in the State of Florida?

Thank you,

Answer to Son drove girlfriend's car that is in parents' name with her permission but not theirs.

Hello Lydia

Well, yeah. He drove the vehicle and caused damage to it. He is responsible for damages to the car. If he is a minor, then his parents will be responsible for that.

There are a couple of things here:

1. The permission rules: He did not steal the car (the cops decline to even file a report for theft), but did he have permission. There are two types of permission, express and implied. He had express permission by the daughter. Will that permission be enough? Each state has a different rule. The most common rule is the “one permitee rule.” A gives vehicle to B, who allows C to drive. B’s permission to C is valid, but if C turns around a lends vehicle to D, C permission to D will not be valid. There will be a question regarding the three weeks prior denial of permission. What effect will that have? That seems to be a long time. This question is important not because of their insurance or the judge but because of yours. Therefore, it is important that you have the judge make a finding of fact regarding whether or not your son was driving with permission.

2.Why did your insurance deny this again? Because their vehicle was not in the policy? Well, there is coverage for the driver if the policy of the vehicle does not exist or does not provide coverage. Insurance can follow the driver if the insurance policy of the vehicle does not provide coverage. The key here is the “permission” issue again. Both insurance companies will only cover if there is permission.

You need to talk to an attorney. You may also want clarification from your insurance company. They may get involved and help you with the total loss of the vehicle.

See more about auto total losses here.

Good Luck

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