What Happens if Someone Gets in an Accident while Driving Your Car?
Your friend crashed your car. What do you do now?
If a person is involved in a car accident, the damages should be handled by either their own or the other driver's auto insurance carrier. What if the vehicle is driven by someone else and the crash is caused by them? The response is based on how the tragic event occurred.
Who Is Liable if Someone Else Is Driving Your Car?
The majority of the time, a car owner's insurance policy covers their vehicle rather than the owner as the driver. As a result, conventional liability principles apply in most cases. All losses, including property damage and medical bills, are legally payable by the individual that caused the car accident.
If someone else is driving your car and a third party causes a collision, the at-fault driver's auto insurance company is usually responsible for the damages. Even if the driver of your vehicle is at fault, your own insurance company is usually responsible for the damages. Nevertheless, there are several exceptions to the norm.
What if the Person Driving Your Car has Their Own Car Insurance Policy?
If the individual driving your car has their own auto insurance policy and is involved in a crash, it may be used to supplement the coverage provided by the car owner. It is a prevalent misconception, however, that the at-fault driver's insurance company is entirely accountable. The owner's car insurance continues to be the primary coverage, with their friend's insurance serving as backup.
Assume A is driving B's car and causes a collision. Because A was at fault in B's car, B's insurance company is responsible for the damages. B's insurance, on the other hand, only covers damages up to a certain monetary limit. If the crash costs surpass B's policy limit, A's insurance company may be able to cover the difference.
What Happens if Your Teenager Causes an Accident in Your Car?
When a teen obtains their driver's license, they must be added as a named insured to the parent's policy, ensuring that they are covered if they cause a crash with the vehicle. A teenage driver with a permit is normally covered by their parent's insurance while learning to drive, even if they aren't formally included on the policy.
A young driver without a license or permission, on the other hand, is not covered; hence, if a parent allows their adolescent to drive their car and the teen crashes it without a permit or license, the claim may be denied, leaving the parent liable for any damages.
If a kid takes their parent's car and causes an accident, the parent has the right to file a claim with their insurance company. However, making a police report against their teen is required, and the parent may still be held accountable for the damages.
Insurance Factors to Consider When Letting Someone Else Drive Your Car
When they need to move a lot of items, people frequently ask their friends to lend them trucks (with the intention of saving themselves the hassle of renting a truck). Furthermore, if one's own car is in the shop for vehicle repairs, one may request to borrow a friend's car. Many people do not believe this is a significant issue. If an accident occurs, however, the legal claim that follows can be lengthy and complicated. Permissive Use is the legal phrase for allowing someone to borrow another vehicle within the limits of the owner's policy; this is distinct from the more frequent type of "borrowing" option that people use on a regular basis: rental cars.
In the event of a collision, most rental car contracts state who is responsible. When renting a car, the driver's current insurance policy usually serves as coverage. If the policy includes a permissive usage clause, it usually applies to anyone who has been given permission to drive the vehicle. In other words, if a friend, colleague, roommate, loved one, or family member drives their car and causes an accident, the owner's insurance most likely covers them.
Insurance companies may have varied definitions of what constitutes a permissive driver. Permission might be challenged in a variety of ways. Someone may, for instance, take a car they had previously borrowed, presuming the owner has no objections, whereas the owner would have said no.
If the insured person's insurance policy does not include a permissive usage provision, he or she can add persons to the coverage on an individual basis. On the insurance policy, nevertheless, the owner remains the "primary driver." When calling an insurance company to add an additional "named driver," a bad driving record may have an impact on the ultimate price paid for coverage. If the individual being added has a great driving record and is competent, there should be no additional expenses to the insurance coverage.
What Happens if the Car Insurance Refuses to Pay the Claim?
In the following situations, if someone else is driving your automobile, the insurer may refuse to pay for the damages:
The person driving the car is not covered by the auto insurance coverage.
The car is being driven without the owner's permission
The driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol or does not have a valid license.
Let's look at these in more detail:
The Other Driver Isn't Covered by the Insurance
The insurance provider does not cover damages caused by someone who was specifically excluded from the primary policy. People who are unskilled or high-risk relatives are frequently purposely omitted from vehicle insurance plans, as covering them merely raises insurance premiums.
As a result, even if an excluded individual crashes the owner's automobile while having permission to drive at the time, the insurer is going to refuse to pay the claim.
Driving Without Permission
If a friend or family member drives your car without your permission and the owner can confirm it (which can be challenging), the driver can be held liable for any damage. If someone uses the vehicle without consent and does not have their own car insurance, the owner may be forced to make a claim with their own insurance company to cover the costs of the damages.
The Person Was Under the Influence or Doesn't Have a Valid License
If the car was loaned to someone who was driving while inebriated or who did not have a valid driver's license, the insurer is unlikely to reimburse damages to the car because it would contradict the policy's terms.
What to Do After Someone Else Caused a Car Accident in Your Vehicle
Even if you were not at fault, it is essential to act quickly following a car accident in your vehicle. People have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages. Don't be fooled; this time often flies by!
Speak to a Car Accident Attorney
The first thing you should do is contact a car accident lawyer. Because each car accident is unique, people may require varying levels of legal aid depending on the facts of the case.
A skilled car accident lawyer guarantees that the owner receives compensation for their losses if the driver was not at fault. Even if the car owner was not in the vehicle at the time of the collision, the at-fault party must be held liable for any damages since the person driving your car may be harmed or the vehicle may be damaged.
In order to pay out less than the real cost of the collision, insurance companies frequently hunt for loopholes. A vehicle accident lawyer can assist clients in pursuing their legal rights and obtaining the maximum compensation they are entitled to.
Understand the Collision Coverage
Individuals should familiarize themselves with their coverage and policy restrictions. Clients might also benefit from the assistance of an experienced attorney when it comes to understanding their insurance coverage.
Report the Accident
As soon as possible after the collision, contact the police; this is not only a legal necessity but also acts as evidence for the insurance coverage claim.
Take pictures and write down what happened at the time of the accident. Document the accident scene, as well as any physical injuries and property damage. If the vehicle owner was not present during the collision, make sure the driver records this information. People can also chat with any witnesses and obtain their names and contact information in order to request their testimony in court.
Contact The Keating Firm Today for a Free Case Evaluation!
You may be entitled to compensation if you were not at fault for the accident, irrespective of who was driving your vehicle at the time. The Keating Firm can assist you in obtaining reimbursement to recompense you for any damages or losses, including out-of-pocket expenses such as transportation costs while your car is being repaired after the accident. Because we've been assisting vehicle accident victims for many years, our lawyers know how to win cases like these. To schedule a free consultation with an expert car accident attorney in Columbus, call us today.
People require experienced personal injury lawyers who are not going to back down when dealing with car insurance companies who refuse to pay for medical bills that are covered by liability insurance. We take pleasure in our attorney-client connection and work hard for clients seeking compensation for damages. Also, if you are wondering how long does it take to get a rental car after an accident, they can also help you find an answer.