What Happens if Someone Else is Driving My Car and Gets in an Accident
A car accident is a complicated situation, to begin with, if insurance terms are considered. Generally, after an accident, your or the other driver’s insurance company covers the damages. But What happens if someone else is driving my car and gets in an accident? The details of how the accident occurred determine how the case will work out.
Who is Liable If Someone Else is Driving Your Car and Gets in an Accident
Your car insurance covers your vehicle more than you, the driver. The general rules of liability usually apply. The person who causes a car accident is legally liable for all the damages, including injury cost and property damage. This is what the law says.
If someone else is driving your car and another driver causes an accident, the insurance of the driver at fault will cover the cost. However, your insurance would be responsible for car accident settlement if the driver of your car causes the accident. Exceptions to this are there. To clarify policies, you can contact your insurance provider.
Your car insurance would cover your vehicle even if someone were driving your it not on your policy as long as the following are applicable:
- The driver has a Canadian driving license and is allowed to drive in the province or territory in question legally.
- The person obtained your permission (written or verbal) before driving your vehicle
- The driver adheres to the terms of your insurance policy.
- The driver is not using your vehicle frequently.
Most people think the driver’s insurance will cover them, and the record would not be affected. However, this is half true. Insurances follow and cover the vehicle only according to the policy, not the driver.
That implies the record would appear on the vehicle owner’s profile. Having a claim on your driving record has an impact on your driving history. It increases your premium ultimately. The driver of your car may not be responsible for the accident but, you would have to pay a deductible towards the claim anyway.
In that manner, trusting someone with your car simply implies that you’re trusting them with your insurance too. It’s better to make sure the other person would be just as sincere in protecting your car as you are.
Traffic tickets, however, are the responsibility of the driver rather than the owner of the vehicle. Until and unless the driver you lend your car causes damage to it, any tickets issued would only affect their driving license and record and not yours.
If the Person Driving Your Car Has Their Own Insurance
The driver’s insurance can act as secondary coverage on top of yours. They are not entirely responsible for any accident or covering damages. Your insurance would still have to provide primary coverage. Consider the following example:
A person is driving your car and gets in an accident. Since you are the vehicle owner, covering the damages is your insurance’s responsibility. However, if the damages exceed the amount covered by your insurance, the driver’s insurance may cover the amount remaining after your insurance.
Can Your Insurance Refuse to Pay for an Accident If Someone Else Was Driving Your Car?
Your insurance can and might refuse to cover damages if you are not the one driving the car under the following circumstances:
- The driver took your vehicle without your permission
- They were explicitly excluded from your insurance policy
- The driver does not have a valid driving license or was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Is the Proof of Permission Important
Proving if you gave your permission to someone driving your car or not is difficult. Your insurance might deny car accident settlements after letting someone borrow your car and not being able to prove that there was permission.
Keeping someone with a poor driving record can increase your premiums. If the person driving your car gets in an accident and is not in your policy, your insurance will not be obligated to cover the damages.
Finally, if someone engages in any illegal activity with your car and ends up in an accident, you will be responsible for covering damages. It doesn’t change even if you permitted them to use your vehicle with the proof of it.
Not having a valid driving license, carrying illegal drugs or firearms, driving under the influence are examples of unlawful activities. In reality, any act puts you in a more difficult position.
Steps to be Taken After Someone Else Crashes Your Car
You need to act fast if someone else crashes your car, even if you weren’t involved. According to general policies, you have to complete claiming damages within the first two years from the date of the accident. The following measures can help you sort out the car accident settlement quick and easy:
Contact Your Car Accident Lawyer
So, when to seek for a personal injury lawyer? Since every accident tends to forge a unique situation, you might require legal counsel depending on the situation. An experienced lawyer could ensure you get covered for damages if the accident was not the fault of the person driving your car.
The driver at fault will be held accountable for injuries caused to the person driving your car or the damages caused to it, whether you were present in your vehicle or not.
Insurance companies would try to pay less coverage than they are worth. An expert car accident lawyer can protect your rights and battle out the sufficient compensation you deserve.
Understanding Your Policy
Having a clear understanding of what and how much your insurance policy is obligated to cover is essential for you. Also, what are the circumstances. You might be getting less than you legally deserve and not even know it. Your lawyer can help clarify this for you. Rather, knowledge on car accident settlement calculator might help you to measure the amount you are probably getting.
Immediately Documenting the Accident
Your vehicle’s driver should call the police as soon as possible after the accident. If they don’t, step in and call the cops yourself if you’re present there. This is legally required. It also creates transparency and immediately records the accident for your insurance claim. Remember you should not delay in reporting the accident. The time you are taking to report the accident has much importance on transparency and insurance claims.
Being present at the place demands your reaction to take photos of the accident scene, any visible injury, damage to your vehicle or any other property. If you are not there, make sure the person driving your car does these things.
It’s a good idea to discuss these issues before letting someone borrow your car. To take it one step further, speak with the bystanders and exchange contacts. They can serve as potential witnesses.
Before Letting Someone Borrow Your Car
You can trust someone and let them take your car. However, there are a few things to do beforehand. It can minimize any risk to the driver and your vehicle.
- Make sure they have a valid driving license
- Ensure the 3 Ws: Where would they drive your car, what they’ll use it for, and who could be a passenger.
- Recheck the functions of your car and ensure they are in acceptable condition. (i.e., windshield wipers, lights, signal lights, etc.)
- Make sure they know where within the car you keep the insurance and registration paperwork
- Read the odometer before and after the keys change hands just to maintain transparency.
Letting someone borrow your car can be a regretful decision if they end up crashing it. Regardless of whose fault it was, the person driving your car or the other driver’s, it never hurts to have precautionary measures.
Discuss the car accident settlement issues prior to lending your car to the temporary caretaker. Add your lawyer in person in the pact if needed. Have a clear understanding of your insurance policy. Take help from your lawyer.
Finally, maintain the proper protocol and the best practices if an accident really happens. You should make the rightful claim and get compensated as much as you deserve.
Accidents can occur anytime, no matter how careful a person is. Be prepared to make the best out of the situation whenever it’s your call and minimize the loss and damage. Now you know What happens if someone else is driving my car and gets in an accident?