As the primary owner of your vehicle, you likely understand the importance of having insurance coverage in the event of an automobile accident. However, what happens if your car is involved in a crash when someone else — such as a friend or family member — is driving it? The legal implications vary depending on the circumstances, and it’s important to understand what to expect to ensure you get the proper legal representation if necessary.
If an Insured Driver Borrows Your Car With Permission
Auto insurance follows the vehicle on the policy, not the driver. As such, if a friend or family member borrows your car and gets into an accident, your coverage should kick in for any physical damage to the other driver’s vehicle or medical expenses. If your friend was injured, however, they will need to go through their own insurance policy for medical assistance.
In this case, your insurance policy is considered the primary source for coverage, with your friend’s policy being supplementary to take care of any non-covered damages. New York state has specific requirements for liability coverage that could determine how much you’ll be responsible for. For example, your policy must cover at least $25,000 for injuries sustained by a single person in an accident. In this case, you could be responsible up to that amount, with your friend’s policy kicking in to cover the rest.
If an Uninsured Driver Borrows Your Car With Permission
If you allow an uninsured friend or family member to use your vehicle and they get into an accident, you might be on the hook for more expenses. Not only will you be responsible for covering the costs to your own vehicle, but if there was more than one driver involved in the crash, they may also file a suit against you to pay for medical damages.
If Someone Takes Your Car Without Permission
If someone drives your car without permission and gets into an automobile accident, you shouldn’t be held responsible for any damages sustained.
However, your relationship with the associated party could create complications. For example, if the accident was caused by a friend, visiting relative, or family member living with you, and you didn’t explicitly deny them permission to use the vehicle, you’re more likely to face liability. However, if the other party has insurance, your policy will be considered secondary in this situation. If they don’t, you would likely need to hire an attorney to file a lawsuit against the liable party and protect yourself from any oncoming suits from other drivers involved in the crash.
If your vehicle was involved in an automotive accident when someone else was behind the wheel, turn to Stephen B. Kaufman, P.C. in the Bronx, NY, for legal advice. This law firm has extensive experience handling a broad range of personal injury cases, and they will provide you with the representation and guidance needed to ensure the most favorable outcome possible. Visit their website to learn more about their team, and call (718) 822-0500 to schedule a consultation today.