Legal Question in Traffic Law in California

I let a 19-year old borrow my manual 5-speed car. Yes, the car was used, but he returned it to me (half an hour later) clutch no longer working. I had to repair the clutch which cost me $700 for a new one. After the car was returned (broken) his friend said, "I do not think he knew how to properly drive a 5-speed." (Hmm, ya think?) He told me that his father taught him how to drive a 5-speed, I was in the passenger seat when he was driving it - It was a little jerky, but I figured that was him getting him used to it.

Yes, it was a used car, but I think had been "messing around" with my vehicle. (although I was not in the vehicle when it broke)

I asked him for payment (partial) but I got a vague response.

Can I sue him for partial the amount (like $200) in small claims court. I think he should be help somewhat to responsible.

Asked on 4/24/13, 5:12 pm

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1 Answer from Attorneys

Jacob Kiani Law Office of Jacob I. Kiani
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No, you have no case. You provided your consent for him to drive the car and thereby assumed the risk that, as a young driver, he might not have treated it as gingerly as you would like, and you merely suspect that he did something to your car. Just drop it because you have no case and will waster your own time. Plus, you are putting all this mental effort into this to try and get a small claims court to give you $200. It almost that much to just file a Complaint in small claims court.

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Answered on 4/28/13, 5:32 am

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