What Happens if Someone Else Has an Accident in Your Car?
So you just lent your car to one of your friends to go to the Superstore on Joseph Howe Drive and, not even ten minutes later, they call you to tell you they have been in an accident. You wonder, “who is responsible for the costs of the accident?”
Contrary to popular belief, when you purchase car insurance, you are not insuring yourself – you are insuring the vehicle.
Therefor, if someone else has an accident behind the wheel of your car, your own car insurance provider is required to step up just like they would if you had been driving.
Potential Issues With Insurance After Someone Else Has an Accident in Your Car
Remember, since it is your insurance company that is on the hook for this accident and not your friend, your insurance premiums may increase.
Additionally, there is the possibility the insurance company may deny a claim if:
- The person who borrowed your car was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- The person driving your vehicle was excluded from driving it under the terms of your insurance
- The person driving your vehicle has a suspended driver’s license
If you or someone you know has an has been injured in a car accident, CALL the car accident lawyer in Halifax at NOVA Injury Law.
What if the Insurance Company Denies the Claim?
Simply put, you could be on the hook to pay! When your insurance company refuses to pay out a claim, any injured party is still entitled to pursue compensation. In these situations, as the owner of the car, you very well could be financially responsible for your friend’s mistakes.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
With all the uncertainty surrounding these situations, it is best to be proactive, instead of reactive. Doing so will minimize your chances of running into roadblocks along the way.
With that in mind, here are some precautions your can take prior to you lending your vehicle:
- Agree either verbally or in writing, that the driver may use your vehicle
- Do not lend on a regular basis to another individual (unless they are named as an occasional driver on
- Make sure that the other driver has a license and is legally allowed to drive in the province
While this may seem like a lot to let someone drive your car, remember, at the end of the day, accidents in your car affect your insurance, not theirs.
Follow these seven steps to ensure that it’s okay to let someone else drive your vehicle:
- Double check their license to ensure it is valid
- Confirm where they will take your car
- Confirm the purpose for the car’s use
- Ask if there will be any passengers
- Ensure the car is properly functioning
- Show the driver where the insurance and registration documents are
- Check the odometer before and after they use the car
These seven simple steps guarantee that you know who is using your car, for how long, and for what purposes. They help minimize your exposure if that person gets in an accident behind the wheel of your vehicle.
Should You Contact a Lawyer After Someone Else Has an Accident in Your Car?
It’s always a good idea to consult an established car accident lawyer after someone else has an accident in your car. The car accident lawyers at NOVA Injury Law analyze every aspect of a claim and create a personalized legal strategy for every case. No two car accidents are alike, and if someone else has an accident in your car, call the experienced car accident lawyers at NOVA Injury Law today.
At the end of the day, you want to be in the best situation to properly understand your options. NOVA Injury Law offers free case reviews and a ‘no win, no fee’ guarantee.
If you’re interested in more information about car accident claims, check out our main car accident page.