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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102505
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Im not sure which legal department this problem lies. However,

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I'm not sure which legal department this problem lies. However, during my last communication regarding the death of my father, I mentioned a car which he had leased and which I wanted to return to the bank. Unfortunately as I was never in possession of the car, my nephew had been using it until this past weekend. He was just arrested for a DWI and the car was damaged but I don't yet know the total extent. The car insurance and lease payment had been made for the month of April and both were still in my deceased father's name. I am not a driver and know absolutely nothing about the process. Who do I need to notify and how? Is my nephew solely responsible for the damages or will I somehow be sued?
Hello, my name is Ely. Welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not necessarily to tell you what you wish to hear. Note: there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your loss, and your current situation.

Is my nephew solely responsible for the damages or will I somehow be sued?

You are not liable here. Just because you may be associated with the estate does not mean that you are liable. Liability in such a situation falls under the claim for negligent entrustment.

"The tort of negligent entrustment is based on the degree of knowledge the supplier had or should have had concerning the entrustee's propensity to use the chattel in an improper or dangerous fashion." Splawnik v. Di Caprio, 146 AD 2d 333 - NY: Appellate Div., 3rd Dept. 1989 (internal citations omitted). In other words, if you had possession of the vehicle as the EXECUTOR of the estate, and lent it to the nephew while knowing or while you reasonably should have known that he could not drive the vehicle properly, only then may you be liable.

But this is not the case here, as you never lent the vehicle to the nephew - he already had it. You never ENTRUSTED it to him, and thus, are not liable for negligent entrustment.

Who do I need to notify and how?

The car insurance company needs to be notified by a simple call. Then they will take over, contacting all parties, interviewing them, and then settling the claim, 98% of the time.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I've already rated the response. Why do I keep getting emails asking me to give a rate again? I have no other questions.

That may have been a glitch - sorry about that. Thank you for your generosity and be well.