Who is Liable if my Car is Involved in an Accident but I was not Driving?
Car Accident injury cases can be very complicated because every case is unique.
One of the main questions that must be answered when an accident occurs, is who is liable for the damages and compensation.
Thankfully, in most accidents, damages will be covered by one of the involved driver’s insurance companies. It’s usually whoever was liable for the crash, making a financial recovery more likely.
However, what if the person driving one of the vehicles in the accident was not the car owner?
This creates a unique scenario that can actually complicate filing a claim, although certain protocols help resolve this issue when it occurs.
The main concept to understand when it comes to accidents of this nature is that Car Insurance is insurance on the car itself, rather than the driver.
Therefore, as long as you have Car Insurance, your vehicle will most likely be covered if it is involved in an accident while someone else is driving.
Likewise, if the accident was determined to be the other driver’s fault, their insurance will be held responsible for damages.
If someone else causes an accident with your car, the insurance on your vehicle will generally cover all of the damages.
If the at-fault driver has their own insurance policy with liability coverage and collision coverage, it could act as secondary insurance if the limit of your policy is reached.
In the article below, we will examine what exactly happens if someone else wrecks your car.
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Can You Legally Drive a Borrowed Car?
You can typically drive someone else’s car if you have been given permission as long as it isn’t a regular occurrence.
The other members of your household or other family members may even be included on your insurance.
If you lend your car to someone, make sure that the person you are lending it to is someone you can trust.
For your own sake, you should never lend your vehicle to someone with a bad driving record, someone without a license, or uninsured, inexperienced, or otherwise unfit to drive.
Fortunately, if the person driving your car receives a traffic citation, it will have no bearing o you or your insurance.
The ticket will be the sole responsibility of the driver who received it.
Even if the ticket relates to driving without insurance, the driver is still on the hook rather than the owner of the car.
What If The Person Driving Your Car Has Insurance?
If the driver of your vehicle has their own insurance policy, then that coverage will act secondary to yours.
What this means is that your insurance will pay for the damages including medical bills resulting in bodily injury and other expenses up to your coverage amount, and if there is any leftover bill, the driver’s insurance will cover it.
There could be exceptions to the above guidelines that can result in your being held liable, or your insurance refusing to pay for your car’s damages.
One exception that can leave you hung out to dry is if the person who drives your car was specifically excluded from your coverage.
Many times, people will exclude a driver from their coverage because they have a poor driving record, which would cause their insurance to be more expensive.
If you allow the excluded person to drive your car and they get into a crash, your insurance will not be obligated to pay for any of the resulting damages.
Another exception to these rules involves the state of the driver at the time of the accident.
If you allow a person to drive your car who is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, or they do not have a valid driver’s license, you will most likely be held liable.
Check out a related post: Most common air bag injuries
What If Someone Takes Your Car Without Permission?
If someone drives your car without your permission and they are involved in an accident due to their negligence, you will still usually be responsible for paying damages because it’s difficult to prove whether permission was granted or not.
A few exceptions to this rule are if your car was stolen, used by a friend or family member, and if they are insured or not.
However, your car insurance will usually provide coverage and pay for the damages when someone else drives your car and has a wreck.
Protect Your Auto Insurance
If you have auto insurance, you want to do everything you can to stay in good standing with your insurance company.
You don’t want your insurance rates or premiums to go up or be in a situation where you are responsible for an accident you weren’t involved in.
The best way to do this is to never let anyone drive your car.
However, there might be times when someone is in need of a vehicle and you may be the only one who can help.
This is why you need to have a good understanding of the policy you have with your insurance company.
Many people don’t know the finer details of their policy, including their policy limit, who the plan covers, and what happens in the event of an accident.
You can go over your insurance policy with your insurance company so they can explain your insurance coverage and answer any questions.
When you have this conversation about your insurance coverage with your insurance agent, you can gain more insight on your deductible and the parameters of your policy.
You might find that you want to add something to the policy, like more liability coverage, that can give you added peace of mind.
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Protect Yourself From Financial Responsibility
As we previously stated, every car accident is unique and each accident can lead to a unique outcome.
The best way to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances is to understand your auto insurance policy and follow the rules it sets out for you.
If someone driving your car is involved in an accident that causes personal injury, as the vehicle owner the best course of action you can take is to contact a car accident law firm.
Personal Injury Attorneys are a specialized type of attorney who helps victims of car accidents recover their financial losses.
These legal professionals know the intricacies of factors that weigh into determining fault in car accidents and getting insurance companies to get you the money you need for the damages.
If you are concerned about a recent accident and would like to speak with a car crash lawyer, please click on the link below to contact The Brown Firm and receive a free consultation with an accident attorney today
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