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Unauthorized driver rental car damage

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I rented a car for my son to take on vacation. He is covered through our/his personal auto insurance. A friend had left her purse in the car trunk earlier and asked my son if she could have the keys to go get her purse out of the car trunk. When she went to go get her purse she also decided to take the car to the store. As she was backing up she hit a divider and damaged the car. My son called the police to have a report filed, mainly because she did not have permission to drive the car. The officer got her license and she is listed on the report as the driver of the accident. Now my insurance company is refusing to pay for any damages because this girl was an unauthorized driver on my rental contract. So I contacted this girl, sent her copies of the costs and explained she is responsible for damages. Of course now this girl is refusing to pay for damages and claiming my son allowed her to drive the car.

Note: She was also uninsured at the time of the accident.

There were 2 other people at this hotel that witnessed the girl saying she was going to get something out of the trunk, and that my son did not give her permission to drive the car. 

I have never met or know this girl, she is 22.  Her mother claims that I (the renter) am in breech of my rental contract because my son gave her permission to drive this car. My son is not the renter only I am listed on contract.

How do I handle this situation? I never listed this girl as a driver, have never met her, she is not even a close friend of my son, just an acquaintance, but she decided on her own to drive the car.

Any advice is welcome. Costs of damages are $750.00. With her being uninsured at the time, could that hold any legal recourse for her actions?

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Of course now this girl is refusing to pay for damages and claiming my son allowed her to drive the car.

 

Well...so what?  She still caused the damage by her negligence.  Even if your son had given her permission, I assume she didn't also claim that he gave her permission to back into a divider and damage the car.

 

Her mother claims that I (the renter) am in breech of my rental contract because my son gave her permission to drive this car. My son is not the renter only I am listed on contract.

 

When you say that only you are listed on the rental contract, does that mean your son is not identified on the contract as a permitted driver?  If so, then it's probably correct that you breached the rental contract by allowing him to drive.  However, and again, so what?  That's an issue between you and the rental car company and has nothing at all to do with the driver's liability for the damage she caused.

 

 

 

How do I handle this situation?

 

I assume that you will be paying the rental car company for the damage since, by contract, you are liable for any damage caused.  Then you can sue the driver to recover what you had to pay.

 

 

 

I never listed this girl as a driver, have never met her, she is not even a close friend of my son, just an acquaintance, but she decided on her own to drive the car.

 

The problem here is that you're focused on a largely irrelevant issue.  How were the damages caused?  Because this woman negligently backed the car into a divider in a parking lot.  Whether she was driving with or without your or your son's permission is completely irrelevant to her liability for damages that resulted from her negligent operation of the vehicle.

 

 

 

With her being uninsured at the time, could that hold any legal recourse for her actions?

 

You said a cop made a report at the scene, so maybe she'll get a ticket.  But, again, this isn't relevant to your issue.

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Thank you both for your responses, I feel the same way you do, she is ultimately responsible for her actions. I am certainly  all in for filing this matter in small claims court. I am aware that she will probably not pay if judgement is granted, however if she has a judgement issued against her, could she have possible issues with license or insurance coverages down the road?

 

I'm not familiar with small claims court proceedings or exactly what proof or documentation would be best to support my claim so I have some research to do. 

 

I appreciate any and all of the input, knowledge, and information you all have to share thank you.

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Well...so what?  She still caused the damage by her negligence.  Even if your son had given her permission, I assume she didn't also claim that he gave her permission to back into a divider and damage the car.

 

 

When you say that only you are listed on the rental contract, does that mean your son is not identified on the contract as a permitted driver?  If so, then it's probably correct that you breached the rental contract by allowing him to drive.  However, and again, so what?  That's an issue between you and the rental car company and has nothing at all to do with the driver's liability for the damage she caused.

 

 

 

 

I assume that you will be paying the rental car company for the damage since, by contract, you are liable for any damage caused.  Then you can sue the driver to recover what you had to pay.

 

 

 

 

The problem here is that you're focused on a largely irrelevant issue.  How were the damages caused?  Because this woman negligently backed the car into a divider in a parking lot.  Whether she was driving with or without your or your son's permission is completely irrelevant to her liability for damages that resulted from her negligent operation of the vehicle.

 

 

 

 

You said a cop made a report at the scene, so maybe she'll get a ticket.  But, again, this isn't relevant to your issue.

The girl ran into the hotel by the time the cop arrived. The cop stated if she had been behind the wheel of the car when he arrived he could have ticketed her for accident and lack of insurance coverage.

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if she has a judgement issued against her, could she have possible issues with license or insurance coverages down the road?

 

I don't know about Ohio, but some states will suspend a person's DL if the person is the subject of an unpaid judgment arising out of that person's operation of a motor vehicle.  If I were you, I'd dig around at the Ohio DMV web site a bit.

 

 

 

exactly what proof or documentation would be best to support my claim so I have some research to do.

 

I can't imagine that the amount of documentation relating to this is particularly large, so I'd bring everything.  You should also subpoena your son to testify as a witness.

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