Whenever you loan your car to a friend or a family member, you’re taking a risk. The truth is, accidents happen. Even if you’re a passenger and someone else drives your car, you have to wonder who will cover the damage if an accident occurs. Knowing the answer beforehand will save you the trouble of trying to figure it out later.
To make an informed decision, you first have to ask yourself, “If someone is driving my car and gets in an accident, who is responsible?”
Who Is Responsible for Your Car Accident?
The answer is, it depends.
If someone else is driving your car and has an accident, your insurance policy should cover the damage. The only time the driver’s insurance kicks in is if the damages exceed your insurance coverage. On the other hand, if another driver was at fault, that driver’s insurance policy would pay for the damage from the car accident.
The extent of which your insurance company pays in damages depends on your coverage.
But this only applies if the driver has your permission to drive your vehicle.
If the driver takes your car without your permission and has an accident, you and your insurance company are not liable for the damages. The person driving is accountable for the collision.
In those cases, you need to contact a personal injury attorney to seek compensation for your damages.
Understand Your Insurance Coverage
It is important to understand your insurance policy and for what you’re paying. Talk to your insurance agent and make sure you understand every part of your car insurance coverage. Insurance companies want you to understand your vehicle policy so that you use the coverage properly.
Your policy will tell you who can drive your car, who can’t drive it, and what will happen if you loan out your vehicle.
As the car owner, it’s your responsibility to understand your car insurance. If you aren’t happy with your liability coverage, you can adjust it to your liking. Some coverage include auto liability coverage, uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage, personal injury protection, medical payments coverage, and collision coverage.
Steps to Take After Someone Else Crashes Your Vehicle
Your first step after the person driving your car has an accident is to call a car accident lawyer. Regardless of who you think is at fault, your attorney can help you handle your insurance claim. An experienced attorney knows the proper steps to take and what happens if someone gets in an accident while driving your car, and you can rest assured knowing a professional is advocating for your rights.
Also, be sure to contact the police right away to obtain documentation of the incident. Take notes and pictures of the scene and collect the contact information from witnesses of the accident. All this information will help you with any claim you make so that you can receive adequate compensation.
Keep in mind, you only have two years from the accident date to seek personal injury damages, so there’s no time to waste.
Talk to a Professional
Even though you are the car owner, if there is an accident and you’re not the driver, you’re not at fault. In that case, you want to take the proper steps to ensure you cover all of the bases, and your best chance at accomplishing this is to have an experienced attorney at your side to guide you through.
Georgia Auto Law is available via live chat or telephone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call today for your consultation at 404-662-4949.