What Happens If Someone Else Gets into an Accident in Your Car?
It’s bad enough to get into an accident in your own vehicle and then have to face responsibility for the damages or fight insurance companies after a car accident, but it can be a whole new level of complication when someone else has an accident in your vehicle.
Most of us wouldn’t think twice about lending our vehicle to a close friend or family member, whether it’s to run a quick errand or for a more pressing matter, but if they get involved in a collision in your vehicle, it will be you that faces the consequences.
Car insurance follows the vehicle and not the driver, as many commonly believe. So that car wreck can lead to your premium going up and cause you to pay a hefty deductible.
Your first step is to call your insurance company to let them know about the accident and to find out who the policy includes. Typically, an auto insurance policy will cover people in your household automatically, and it will also cover friends who have your permission to drive your car. There are, however, some policies which may exclude certain individuals.
Depending on the circumstances of the crash, who was at fault, and the driver’s insurance coverage, the situation will be handled in a number of different ways.
If the driver was injured in the wreck, then the driver’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) would cover their injuries, however if they do not have this protection under their coverage, then they would have to claim it against your PIP coverage.
In another common scenario, in which both you and the driver have insurance coverage, both insurance companies may end up footing the bill for the accident if the vehicle’s damage exceeds the coverage limit of your policy. Your car insurance would serve as the primary coverage, and their policy would be secondary.
It’s important to remember that if the accident was not the driver’s fault, then the at-fault driver’s insurance would cover damages and your personal insurance wouldn’t change.
There may be other instances where your car is taken without your permission and is involved in a collision. It can be difficult to prove that you did not give permission in some instances, but if it is clear that you didn’t give permission, then a number of different scenarios could play out. For instance, if someone steals your vehicle, you won’t be liable for the damages or injuries to the other vehicle, but damages to your vehicle would probably be covered by your own coverage. If a friend takes your car without permission, then their coverage would likely pay first, and you would step in to fill in the gaps. If your friend does not have insurance, then your own car insurance would be expected to pay.
You could also be held liable if you let an intoxicated or impaired driver operate your vehicle or you allow an unlicensed driver to use your vehicle.
Car wrecks are always complicated matters, but they are even more-so when they involve your car and another driver. You might consider getting the help of an attorney in these instances, especially if that person was uninsured, unlicensed, or impaired.
The auto accident attorneys at Fears Nachawati have handled all manner of car accident claims in the state of Texas, including those involving loaning cars to other drivers. Having great legal representation is one of the best steps you can take following an accident in order to ensure you aren’t held liable for something that wasn’t your fault.
For your free, no obligation legal consultation, please call the auto accident lawyers of Fears Nachawati at (866) 705-7584 or visit one of our offices located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.