June 6, 2019
Am I Liable If Someone Else Driving My Car Gets Into an Accident?
Sometimes, you may have a relative or a friend who needs a mode of transportation. A common solution that may come up is you letting them borrow your car. No matter how careful your family member or friend is, accidents can and do happen. If they were at the wheel when the accident happened, then this is where you may have questions about how insurance works. This matter can be tricky and you may want an expert at your side to help you through it. Bey & Associates has skilled Atlanta car accident lawyers who have been involved in all types of cases.
Does Car Insurance Apply to the Car or the Driver?
There’s a common myth in car accident cases about these situations. When a driver doesn’t own the car is the one who gets in an accident, the insurance applies to the them. This is false. In an accident, the insurance will apply to the car, not the driver. This means that even though you may have had nothing to do with the accident, your insurance will still be in play because your car was involved in the accident.
If the other driver in the accident was at fault and the person driving your car didn’t act negligently in any way, then the other driver’s insurance should cover the damages. However, this may change if your friend or family member were at fault for the accident.
Your insurance policy will kick in. You may be held liable for the other driver’s losses. So, your insurance will cover their injuries and damages. Your policy will also determine this, especially if the driver isn’t explicitly excluded on your policy.
But what if your insurance doesn’t completely cover it? It’s also likely that the person driving your car may have an insurance policy themselves. If your policy reaches its limit, then their insurance may cover the rest. If the person driving your car is an uninsured motorist, then you will be held liable and your insurance will cover the damages.
You may think that permission plays an important factor in whether or not your insurance will be affected. While flat-out stealing is out of your control, arguments about if the driver had permission can be murky. It’s difficult to prove if you agreed or didn’t agree for them to use your vehicle. It’s not a point you can solely depend on.
What Should You Do About Your Policy?
These matters are never easy, no matter the shape or form. It doesn’t matter if the person driving your car was or wasn’t at fault, had insurance, or even had your permission to use the vehicle. Even if the person driving your vehicle wasn’t at fault, the other driver could claim they were. You and your car insurance are at risk of being negatively affected. You shouldn’t have to deal with the consequences of an accident that wasn’t your fault, but unfortunately your name and insurance is tied to the vehicle.
What is the best way to prevent situations like this in the future? Understand your insurance policy inside out. You can see what it covers, what it doesn’t cover, and learn the policy’s rules.
Then, you’ll be able to judge your actions moving forward based on if this is covered by your insurance or not. For example, you may have a policy that includes family members. You may want to know who is covered by your insurance and who isn’t. This could play a part in who you let drive your vehicle.
If you’re trying to learn more about your policy and are unclear on certain aspects, you may want to ask your insurance agent. This way you can ask all your questions and you’ll have a clear understanding of your policy.
Get the Help You Need Today
In the unfortunate situation that an accident occurs, you’ll want to protect your rights. The lawyers at Bey & Associates may be able to help you. Insurance claims can get confusing when there are multiple parties involved. We’ll be able to assess what happened and make sure the right people are held accountable for their actions. We’ll also make sure that you don’t pay for something that you shouldn’t have to pay for.
Get in touch with us as soon as possible to schedule a consultation. Claims are a time-consuming process and waiting may only cause more stress and confusion. After an initial consultation where we’ll review your case, we’ll figure out the best course of action for you.