When you let your friend borrow your car, you may assume nothing bad will happen. In most cases, a car accident is the farthest thing from your mind. But car accidents happen at an alarming rate and what seemed like “no big deal” can certainly become one when your friend gets in a collision with your car.
A friend crashing your car can raise several questions: who is liable for the damages? Will insurance cover the accident? What can I do to help? It is important to understand the implications of this type of accident and the steps to take if your friend is involved in an accident while driving your car.
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The insurance policy attached to the vehicle is usually responsible for covering damages caused, although this can become complicated when someone else not on the insurance plan is driving.
Insurance companies typically have rules in place to cover crashes when someone besides the owner of the car is operating the car. If a person will be using your car on a regular basis, they will need to be added as an authorized driver in order to have insurance coverage. If your friend regularly drives your car and is not on your insurance policy, things can be complicated. There is a high chance that the insurance company will not approve the claim or will only pay for a portion of the damages.
If the person driving is a one time user, insurance providers will generally cover the accident under an exception rule. In this scenario, the damages to the other driver and the vehicle will be covered up to the limits set forth in your insurance policy.
One of the first considerations when a friend crashes your car is insurance coverage. Your insurance policy should be the primary source of coverage for the accident as the policy is attached to the car. It’s crucial to notify your insurance company promptly, providing them with accurate details of the incident. “Before placing the call, be sure to gather all relevant information regarding your policy,” note accident attorneys at Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers, then “Contact your insurance representative as soon as is feasible, while the memory of the incident is fresh in your mind.”
Keep in mind that insurance policies differ, and coverage may vary. Some policies may cover anyone driving the insured vehicle, while others might have restrictions or exclusions for non-listed drivers.
When assessing the accident, determining fault is a critical aspect. Insurance companies and, if necessary, legal authorities will investigate the circumstances to determine who is at fault. If your friend is found responsible for the crash, their insurance or your policy may be responsible for covering the damages. Depending on the circumstances of your friend’s crash, an insurance company may only cover a portion of the accident.
If your friend is not at fault, the other party’s insurance should bear responsibility for the crash. It’s essential to let the investigation process unfold to determine fault accurately.
In some cases, legal action may follow after a car crash involving your friend. The chances of a personal injury claim against your friend is high if serious injuries or significant property damage occurred. Consider scheduling a consult with a lawyer experienced in personal injury or car accident cases to understand your rights and potential legal recourse.
A legal professional can guide you through the legal process, ensuring that your interests are protected and that you’re aware of any legal action.
Picking Up the Pieces After a Crash
While having a friend crash your car can be a stressful experience, understanding the necessary steps can alleviate some of the concerns.
Promptly notifying your insurance company, determining fault and seeking legal advice if necessary are crucial aspects of dealing with the situation. In addition to the legal circumstances of the accident, remember to prioritize open communication with your friend to maintain a healthy relationship during this challenging time.