We don’t often think twice about letting a trusted friend or family member drive our vehicles if they ask. But that also means we don’t think twice about what would happen if that person were to get into an accident. At Jeff GOULD Law, we know that if a person who is borrowing your car is involved in an accident that results in injuries, the ensuing claims can be complicated. Even if you weren’t in the car at the time of the accident, you may still be affected, and possibly even held liable. The specific language of your policy will determine what is (and what is not) covered. However, if you do not have enough coverage you could be held personally liable for medical expenses, lost earnings, vehicle damage as well as pain and suffering. Never assume that your insurance policy covers everything.
If you’ve loaned someone your car, here’s what you need to know about how liability is determined should they get into an accident.
How Coverage Works When Someone Else Is Driving
Many people believe in a common insurance misconception: insurance applies to the driver. This is not the case. Although car insurance is issued to the policyholder (a person), the actual insurance belongs to the vehicle. That means that even if the driver of the vehicle is not on your plan, your insurance still applies in case of an accident. While this is simple enough in a minor accident with no injuries, the situation quickly becomes complicated if the accident is serious.
Different Situations To Consider
- Who’s at Fault?
There are some scenarios where you do not have to worry about your coverage. If the other driver was at fault, then the at-fault driver’s insurance will cover the damages and costs. Your insurance situation could get more serious if your friend or a family member were at fault for the accident. If there are no injuries, your insurance will cover the property damages. However, if you don’t have collision coverage, the damages to your vehicle as well as your deductible will be your responsibility.
- Bodily Harm
If the accident is serious enough to cause bodily harm, your insurance can be used to cover medical bills. If the injuries are serious enough to require more money, then your friend’s coverage may be added on top of yours to ensure the victim gets the proper amount.
- Uninsured Driver
If your friend doesn’t have insurance, the situation becomes more dangerous. Once your coverage has been exhausted, if there is no other plan to cover additional costs, you can be held personally responsible for them. This is a scenario that could prove financially devastating. If your friend or family member is uninsured, you may want to reconsider loaning them your car. You could be faced with severe financial issues if they harm someone in a collision.
- Stolen Vehicle
An issue most of us never plan for is what happens if someone steals your car and then causes an accident. In the case of auto theft, you will not be held liable for the other person’s injuries, but your collision coverage will be used to cover vehicle damage.
Get The Advice You Need
At Jeff GOULD Law, we have helped countless people get the justice they deserve. If someone else driving your car gets in an accident, you may need Jeff Gould, the Attorney in Your Corner, to fight for you. We’ll help you get through the complications of the situation with peace of mind. If you need legal advice in Tucson, Oro Valley, Marana, or Sahuarita, contact us today. We’ll fight back to protect your best interests and rights.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this blog/site is NOT, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. It is for general informational use only. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Further, this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.