It is not atypical to find friends and family borrowing each other’s vehicles for one reason or another. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this practice, things can get murky when an accident happens when someone is driving your car. If someone else drives your car and gets in an accident are you responsible for the ensuing damages?
Determining Liability for Car Accidents
To start with, you need to understand how insurance carriers and the police determine liability when a car crash occurs. Contrary to many misguided opinions, insurance applies to the vehicle and not the driver. Therefore, it doesn’t matter who was behind the wheel at the time of the accident as your insurance carrier is still on the hook for any damages. If the other driver was at fault, either by self-admission or after a police investigation, their insurance will pay for damages.
Nonetheless, things get a little more complicated if someone else was driving. Your automobile insurance will cover damages to the car and if you have not been paying your premiums, these funds will come directly from your pocket. More so, you will be required to pay your deductibles.
What is Secondary Insurance?
The other driver’s insurance will act secondarily to your insurance coverage. When it comes to bodily harm, you will need to apply personal injury protection (PIP) and then have your insurance pay the remaining medical bills. If another party was injured and your insurance cover is depleted, the secondary insurance comes in to pay the difference. If your friend has not been paying their premiums, you will be held liable for the additional costs.
What if Someone Stole My Car Then Caused an Accident?
The situation is different when someone steals your vehicle then causes an accident. Your insurance will cover damages to the vehicle but not for personal injuries to the victims. If you are lending someone your car, asking to see proof of insurance is the least you can do. Things get tricky when a friend or acquaintance borrows your car without informing you. In this scenario, the Ponton Law accident attorney will help you convince the insurance carrier that your car was taken without your knowledge. Our goal would be to have your friend’s insurance on the hook for any damages as opposed to transferring these costs to your end.
Are there any Exceptions to Insurance Coverage?
While the above coverage rules generally apply in all situations, there are a few exceptions that can impact how the damages are paid. For instance, if the person driving the car was specifically excluded from your insurance, your insurance will not cover damages. This person could have a terrible driving record which usually translates to heftier premiums.
Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer notes another caveat where an intoxicated driver uses your vehicle or someone without a valid driving license. If such persons cause an accident, you will be obligated to pay for the damages.