What Happens if Someone Gets in an Accident While Driving Your Car?
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Allowing a friend or relative to drive your vehicle can carry significant consequences when an accident occurs. Questions about liability and insurance coverage will arise, and you may face long-term financial consequences if you cannot obtain coverage for all your damages.
If you sustain injuries as a passenger in your vehicle, obtaining coverage can be challenging. The attorneys at NST Law specialize in helping accident victims identify avenues through which they can receive fair compensation.
Who has permission to drive your car?
You can legally permit other licensed drivers to drive your vehicle. Teenagers with a learner’s permit must be accompanied by you or another licensed driver over the age of 21.
Who’s liable for a car accident if someone else is driving your car?
As the vehicle owner, you are liable for accidents caused by anyone you authorize to drive. Most insurance companies cover drivers who occasionally drive your car, but there are some limitations:
- Insurance companies commonly define occasional use as less than twelve times per year.
- The driver must not live in your household or drive your vehicle regularly.
- The driver may not use your vehicle for business purposes unless your policy includes business coverage.
- If the driver is inexperienced or has a reckless driving record, your insurance may deny coverage.
Insurance companies require drivers who live in your household or have regular access to your vehicle to be named on your policy. Some policies define drivers who are related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption as household members and only cover them if they are named on the policy.
If the accident is the fault of the borrower of your vehicle, your insurance coverage will be the same as if you were the driver:
- Collision and comprehensive coverage cover your property damage.
- In no-fault states, personal injury protection (PIP) covers your injuries.
- In most states, you can purchase Medpay coverage to cover your own injuries.
- If you do not have PIP or Medpay, your insurance may not cover your injuries when you or a covered driver is at fault.
- Liability insurance only covers the opposing driver’s damages.
If the opposing driver is at fault, their insurance covers your property damage and injuries. Your uninsured motorist coverage applies if the at-fault opposing driver is uninsured.
In cases where both drivers share fault, comparative negligence rules apply. In this scenario, you and the opposing party could be compensated by the other’s insurance in proportion to each driver’s share of the fault. These laws vary by state. In some states, you can receive compensation even if the borrowing driver is 99% at fault.
What if the person driving your car has their own insurance?
What if your teenager is driving your car when an accident happens?
Teenage drivers must be insured, and your insurer will require them to be named on your policy. This means your claim will be denied if your teenager who is unnamed on your policy causes an accident in your vehicle.
If your teenager is listed on your policy, accidents caused by the teen will be covered up to your policy limits. If you do not have PIP or Medpay, injuries sustained by you or your teen may not be covered.
If your teenager takes your car without permission, the insurance still applies if your teen is named on the policy. Reporting the incident as non-permissive will not alter your liability for the accident and could result in criminal charges against your teen.
Are you responsible for the insurance deductible?
As the owner of the vehicle, you are liable for all expenses relating to the accident, including the insurance deductible. Some insurance companies raise the deductible when the driver is anyone other than the named insured.
Will your insurance rates increase if someone else driving your car gets in an accident?
If the borrowing driver is at fault, your insurance will most likely increase in the same manner as if you were the driver. According to Bankrate, accidents cause rates to increase by an average of $637 annually for three to five years. Some policies offer accident forgiveness for the first accident.
If the opposing driver is at fault, your rates may stay the same. In fact, some states prohibit insurance companies from raising rates solely on the basis that the insured filed a claim.
How can NST Law help after someone else driving your car gets in an accident?
If you were injured while someone else drove your car, you deserve compensation. At NST Law, we pride ourselves on our results-oriented approach of resourcefulness, personalized service, and compassionate care.
We have collected over $1.5 billion dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients, including:
- $3 million in a tractor-trailer accident involving a husband and wife
- $1.4 million for a couple in a head-on collision.
- $5 million in a car accident involving a defective airbag
If you have been injured while someone else drove your car, call us at 800-529-4004 or contact us online today for a free case consultation.