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What Happens when Someone Else Is Driving My Car and Gets in an Accident?

What Happens when Someone Else Is Driving My Car and Gets in an Accident
Image by bobtheskater from Pixabay

It’s not unusual for people to borrow cars. Friends or family members may ask to borrow your car to drive to nearby cities for personal reasons, to transport equipment, or simply to be able to go out with friends every now and then. Unfortunately, the road is unpredictable, and this person may get into an accident with your car.

It’s a terrible scenario that you do not even want to imagine, but you must know what to do if it ever happens. What happens when another individual is driving your vehicle and gets in an accident? This post will answer everything. 

Someone Else Drove My Car and Caused an Accident – What Happens?

Whether the friend or family member driving your car is someone you love and trust, things can go wrong sometimes. Not paying attention to the road for two seconds or speeding up can cause the driver to get into a car crash. When they are driving your car, you want to know whether the person can be held liable for the damages. 

Two things will determine liability in this case, respectively:

  • Whether you gave the individual the green light to use your car
  • What are the terms of your auto insurance policy? 

In many states, the vehicle owner’s insurance covers all expenses for the car damages. This applies even in cases where someone else was driving the car. However, whether or not you allow them to use the vehicle will also come into play. Usually, the insurance will not cover damages if the person doesn’t get your permission to drive first. 

If the other person has their own insurance, the policy could also help with some coverage, which is very useful when the damage goes over the limits imposed by your policy. 

Generally, car insurance policies will help cover the damages to the vehicle only. The person who drove the car will not get coverage. So, the person that was driving your car will be the one held liable for the damages. This is true even when you were not the one behind the wheel. 

The Car Accident Was Caused by Another Driver – Who Is Liable?

Your friend or family member who borrowed your car may be unlucky. They may be involved in a car accident caused by someone in a different car. Who is liable in this case?

Well, most of the time, the individual that caused the accident, to begin with, is responsible. Even if you let someone else use your vehicle, the driver in the different vehicle that caused the crash will be liable. 

As such, the other driver’s liability insurance will have to provide coverage. It will cover the property damage done to your vehicle. As well as any legal damages suffered by the driver. 

My Friend Let Someone Else Drive My Vehicle – What Happens Then?

Let’s say that your friend borrowed your car. Then, the friend allowed someone else to use the vehicle, resulting in a car accident. What happens in this situation?

Your car insurance policy will still help cover all the expenses related to the accident, such as damages and losses. Fortunately, this is also possible if you only permit the first person. By allowing someone to use your car, you also allow them to give it to another person. 

Permissive vs. Non-Permissive Use

Insurance coverage will be influenced by whether you gave the other person permission to drive your car or not. 

When you allow someone to drive your vehicle, your insurance policy will also help cover damages caused by the driver. This is called “permissive use.” Your insurance will take over if the accident ends with someone else being injured. If the expenses are higher than the limit imposed by your liability coverage, your car driver’s liability insurance will act as secondary insurance to pay off the remaining amount. 

There are also situations when someone may be using your car without your permission. They may steal your vehicle or borrow your car without asking for permission. The driver of the car will be fully responsible for damages, injuries, and losses in this case if they get into an accident, so their insurance coverage will have to pay for everything. 

Final Thoughts

When you let someone borrow your car, you must be ready in case they get involved in a car crash. Your friend may be drunk driving, or they may not pay attention to the road, or someone else may cause the accident instead. The Colorado Division of Criminal Justice published a report looking into 26,000 impaired driving cases filed in 2019. Results show that 45% tested positive for different substances, such as alcohol and THC. If the person borrowing your car is drunk driving, it’s time to look into Denver DUI lawyers

Featured Image by bobtheskater from Pixabay