When someone driving your car gets in an accident

Auto Recall Attorney - The Cooper Firm

When someone driving your car gets in an accident

Getting in a car accident is already stressful, but loaning someone your car and them getting in an accident can be a terrible headache. Although you may or may not have been in the vehicle during the time of the accident, you are still liable for their actions through vicarious liability. Depending on the state and policy, there are limitations to how much the owner will owe based on state.

The good news is that it most likely will not have to come out of your pocket. Usually anyone that drives your vehicle and lives in the same residence as you or is a family member will be included on your insurance policy. If you have given permissive use to someone who is not a family member or who doesn’t live with you, they will also most likely be covered by your insurance depending on your policy. Most people tend to think that insurance follows the individual, but it actually follows the vehicle. This means that if you loan your vehicle out to someone and they get in an accident, your insurance would be primary coverage and their insurance would be secondary or excess. Secondary or excess insurance only applies if the damages exceed your policy’s limits.

The only exception to this would be excluded drivers. You can actually exclude drivers from your auto insurance policy because of poor driving records. This could not only save you money on your car insurance, but would also mean your insurance would not pay for damages if they were to use your vehicle and get into an accident. This only applies if you did NOT give him or her permission to use your vehicle.  You should know that it can often be difficult to prove you did not get them permission.   Note that you can be sued if you let an intoxicated driver operate your vehicle or you allow an unlicensed driver to drive your vehicle.

If the accident is not the fault of the driver who you loaned your vehicle to, then you would actually make a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance to cover the damages. This is however, if they have insurance. If they don’t, you should see if your policy covers uninsured motorist.

The best thing to do, is to know what your insurance policy covers and then make decisions based on your coverage. Be sure to ask your insurance agent if you have any questions about your policy or what is or is not covered. It is also important to know how damages will be covered or if you have collision coverage to help you pay for repairs. Once you have the knowledge, it is up to you to decide who drives your vehicle. Make sure that you trust that person to drive your vehicle and that you know the risk.

If your vehicle has been involved in an accident after loaning it to someone, contact an attorney today to get more information on how to protect your rights.

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