Am I Liable if Someone Borrowed and Crashed My Car?

Some car owners allow other people to borrow their vehicles. In most cases, the borrower returns the car without any problems. However, what happens when someone borrows a car and gets into a car accident that causes damage and injuries? In this instance, the car owner will want to understand how most insurance coverage works.

Car Insurance Usually Follows the Vehicle

Many people worry that if they are not driving their vehicles, they will not be covered by insurance, but this is not true. The insurance covers the car regardless of who is driving; however, certain conditions must be met.

The borrower must have received explicit permission to use the vehicle. A friend who takes a car without permission is not authorized to drive the vehicle. The borrower must also have a valid driver’s license. If the person who drove the car only has a learner’s permit or does not have a driver’s license, the driver cannot legally operate the vehicle. When these circumstances are true, the owner’s car insurance will usually pay at least a portion of the damages. The borrower does not have to own a car or have any kind of personal auto insurance policy coverage to be an authorized driver.

How Does Insurance Work When Someone Borrows My Car and Crashes it?

Collision coverage handles all vehicular damage up to a certain amount; however, it is not required in all states, including New Jersey. Typically, drivers have some kind of deductible against the overall damages costs. A deductible ranges, depending on the policy. It does not matter if the car owner or the person who borrowed the car pays the deductible. The deductible must be paid by someone before the collision coverage starts.

Accidents do not always just cause property damage, though. When a car wreck leads to damage to another vehicle or causes personal injury, liability coverage is used. Liability coverage is required in New Jersey but the acceptable minimums are quite low. Consequently, a car owner’s liability coverage may or may not cover the cost to repair the other vehicle, depending on why the accident occurred. Additionally, damage to the other vehicle might exceed the liability coverage limit, which means that the car borrower would have to pay the rest.

Will My Insurance Premiums Increase?

Lending a car may seem like a helpful action. Nevertheless, it can be a costly decision if a car accident happens. If the borrower crashes the vehicle, the owner’s insurance premiums will more than likely increase for a long period of time. Therefore, a car owners need to be cautious when considering loaning their vehicle. If someone borrowed one’s car and caused an accident, it is important to speak to a lawyer.

Atlantic City Car Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Hold Negligent Parties Accountable for Car Accidents

If someone borrowed your vehicle and caused a car accident, it is beneficial to talk to a lawyer. Our Atlantic City car accident lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm protect victims against negligent car drivers. Contact us online or call us at 609-926-3300 for a free consultation. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, and Woodbury.