Can I Be Held Liable for an Accident if Someone Borrows My Car?

Can I Be Held Liable for an Accident if Someone Borrows My Car?

Can I Be Held Liable for an Accident if Someone Borrows My Car?

Loaner cars, carpooling, and ridesharing are all great solutions to save money and protect the environment. But what if your car borrowed by someone gets into an accident? Who’s responsible for the damages, injuries, and liabilities caused by the crash? This is one of the most common questions we hear, and for good reason. Most car owners worry about what will happen if their car gets involved in an accident while being driven by someone else. In this post, we aim to answer some of the key questions about liability if someone borrows your car.

Risk Factors to Consider When Letting Someone Borrow Your Car

First, it’s important to know that a borrower of a car is held liable for any accident they cause. However, the registered owner of the car may also be sued for damages and injuries, depending on the circumstances of the accident. For instance, if the accident happened because of a defect in the car that the owner knew about but didn’t fix, the owner could be found liable for the accident.

Other factors to consider include:

– The borrower’s driving record – If the borrower has a history of speeding, reckless driving or has recently been involved in an accident, you may want to think twice before lending them your car.

– The borrower’s insurance coverage – You should ensure that the borrower has adequate insurance coverage, including liability coverage.

– The purpose of the trip – If the borrower is using your car for personal use, such as running errands, the risk of an accident is relatively low. However, if they’re using your car for business purposes, such as Uber or Lyft, the risk of accidents increases.

Liability and Insurance Risks

If an accident occurs while someone else is driving your car, liability can get complicated since multiple parties are involved. Here are some potential risks to consider:

– Your insurance policy may not cover the accident – Many insurance policies exclude coverage if the driver is not listed on the policy or if the driver is engaging in commercial activities.

– The borrower’s insurance may fall short – If the borrower is at fault for the accident and their insurance coverage isn’t sufficient to cover the damages and losses, the car owner may be sued for the remaining costs.

– You may be sued for damages – Even if your insurance policy covers the damages.

How an Attorney Can Help

Liability laws for car accidents can vary depending on the state you’re in. Therefore, it’s essential to know your local laws and regulations before lending someone your car. It’s also a good idea to consult an experienced personal injury attorney to understand your rights and obligations regarding liability.

An attorney can help with the following:

– Assess the facts and determine who’s liable – In some cases, the borrower may be solely responsible for the accident, whereas in other cases, the car owner may share liability.

– Determine insurance coverage – A personal injury attorney can help determine the types of insurance coverage available and help you minimize your exposure.

– Negotiate with the insurers – Attorneys know how to negotiate with them effectively.

– Represent clients in court – If a lawsuit arises, an attorney can better represent their client’s rights and interests.

In summary, if someone borrows your car and gets into an accident, the borrower is usually held liable for any losses and damages they caused. However, the car owner may also be sued for any damages, depending on the circumstances of the accident. Therefore, it’s important for car owners to know their insurance coverage options and consult with a personal injury attorney like those at Saks, Robinson & Rittenberg before loaning their car to anyone. By doing so, you’ll be better protected against any liabilities associated with lending your car.

If you have been injured in a personal injury or work-related accident, do not hesitate to contact our office at (312) 332-5400

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