You may be pretty familiar with reporting and handling a car accident that you are involved in when you are one of the drivers, but do you know what happens when someone else is driving your car and gets into an accident? Whose car insurance covers the accident? Who is held responsible for any injuries?
What happens after an accident involving a borrowed car depends on several factors, including whether you gave your friend or family member permission to drive your vehicle. To help you navigate this complex process, we’ve provided an overview of the steps to take when your borrowed car is involved in an accident.
Report and Document the Accident
As soon as the accident happens, you or the driver should contact local law enforcement and report the accident. This will create an official record of the incident that you will need for your insurance claim. Additionally, make sure you or the driver takes pictures of the scene, damage to any property, and any sustained injuries. Finally, gather information from witnesses, recording what they saw and getting their contact information.
Seek Medical Treatment
If the driver or anyone in the vehicle at the time of the accident was injured, they should seek medical treatment immediately. An emergency room or urgent care visit will create evidence that injuries were sustained during the accident. This documentation will be necessary for filing personal injury claims. The insurance company may question the legitimacy and severity of the injuries if they are not treated right away.
Understand Your Insurance Coverage
As the owner of the vehicle, you will need to report the accident to your insurance company. You must make this claim as soon as possible. It will be helpful to know what your insurance policy covers, and if you’re not sure what this is, your attorney can help you look into it.
It’s also helpful to note that car insurance follows the vehicle and not the driver. This means that if your car is insured, then you will be responsible for covering the accident — whether or not the person driving your vehicle is also insured under their own policy.
If your insurance policy does not include collision coverage, damages to your car will not be covered. Whether or not collision coverage is provided, the vehicle’s deductible still applies. The car owner is ultimately responsible for the full amount of the deductible, but the owner and at-fault driver can decide how they will pay the deductible.
Suppose the driver of your vehicle has their own insurance. In that case, their liability coverage may be able to pay for the rest of the costs to repair any damages that your insurance policy was not able to cover. If the driver is uninsured and the costs of the car accident exceed your policy’s limits, you’ll be entirely responsible.
In the event that a person does not have permission to borrow your car but takes it anyway, and then an accident occurs, you will not be held responsible for the accident. The driver and their insurance company will need to cover the damages.
Turn to a Car Accident Lawyer
Since every car accident is different, it is best to seek legal counsel from a car accident attorney. An experienced lawyer can help you get compensation for vehicle damages and personal injuries. Insurance companies are always seeking ways to undercut costs and may pay out less than you deserve. A car accident lawyer will ensure this will not happen to you.
Getting Compensated for Damages
When your car is involved in a car accident, you do not want to leave anything to chance. Working with a car accident lawyer in Bucks County, PA, can help you get the compensation you are entitled to when you are not at fault. At Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC, our attorneys are experienced in helping car accident victims pursue the money to cover any damages.
Contact our law office today to schedule your FREE consultation to discuss your car accident or your need for a personal injury attorney in Montgomery County.