Who is Liable for a Car Accident if You Loaned Your Car to Someone?

So, you loaned your car out to your friend or relative. What’s the big deal? They needed to get somewhere and they’re car was in the shop, was temporarily inoperable, or they simply had no vehicle of their own. While it may seem like merely a fleeting favor, loaning your car to someone who is not on your insurance policy is a risky move. If they were to get into a car accident under certain circumstances, you may be devastated to learn that you will have to foot the bill. The very knowledgeable car accident attorneys at Rutter Mills have posted a brief video with very important information on the risks of lending your car out to others.

What You Should Consider When Lending Out Your Car

Although many people have convinced themselves that “insurance follows the driver, not the car,” the standard is quite the opposite. Whether you were in the car or not, if your friend happens to crash your car while taking it out in your absence, you may be held liable for the damages. For this reason, imagine that when you are not only lending your vehicle, but your insurance as well.

If your friend happens to get into a car accident while borrowing your vehicle, some of the most notable problems will arise if they were struck by an uninsured motorist, or if your friend does not have their own insurance policy. Regardless of which driver was at fault, because the crash involved your vehicle, you will be expected to cover the damages for your own vehicle. Even if your friend did have insurance, if the damages exceed their policy limits, you will again be responsible for covering that balance.

Such a scenario is most likely if the individual borrowing your car is a family member. Why? Insurers will always assume that your family members, or whoever you share a household with, have permission to borrow your vehicle. If someone were permitted to borrow your car and simultaneously have their own insurance, then you have relatively little to worry about, as they can cover most potential damages. Still, this is not always applicable, so it’s best to study the details of your policy before lending another person your car.


What Happens If Someone Borrows Your Car Without Permission?

If someone were to steal your car and subsequently get into a car accident, you will generally not be held liable. Yet, there are caveats to this rule that could be quite devastating if they were to come about. For example, if it were a stranger that stole your car, then you would not be responsible for compensating anyone who incurred property damage or bodily injuries. On the other hand, if it was your friend or relative that took your car, you could be in serious trouble.

In this case, the circumstances described above would apply according to whether they had insurance coverage or not. In any case, you must always be as explicit as possible when denying or permitting someone the use of your vehicle. If you have recently allowed someone to borrow your car and they caused an accident, it would be best if you got in touch with a lawyer. Your lawyer will do everything in their power to reduce the required compensation, and ensure that the incident does not significantly harm your financial health.


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