Someone Else Wrecked My Car, Am I Liable For Injuries?
If there are injuries to either the person driving your car and/or the people in the other car, it’s completely reasonable to be worried about your own liability as the owner of the vehicle.
Here are answers to some of the most common questions you may have:
Will My Insurance Cover This?
It is a common misconception that your automobile insurance applies solely to you. In fact, your auto insurance policy applies to your vehicle, regardless of who is driving it (in most cases). This means that if you lend someone your car and they’re in an accident, your insurance will still be valid.
This can be both good and bad news, depending on the severity of the accident and if there are injuries. If it’s a minor collision that results in some light cosmetic damage, it can feel good to know that your insurance will kick in even though you weren’t driving.
On the other hand, if the accident is serious and there are injuries, your insurance provider is going to be on the hook for a substantial amount of money if the person you lent your car to is found to be at fault in the accident.
Can I Be Sued In Court?
The chances of having civil litigation brought against you in a car accident depend very heavily on the circumstances of the accident, and potentially the events leading up to it.
For example, let’s say you lend your car to a friend. Your friend runs a few errands, then stops at a restaurant to get lunch. During lunch, they have a few to many drinks and then run a red light in your car and hit someone else, causing severe injuries.
It is highly unlikely that a civil suit would be brought against you, since you had nothing to do with your friend getting drunk.
On the other hand, let’s say that you invite the same friend over for cocktails, and your friend has a few too many and is noticeably impaired. If you were to lend your car to your friend, both knowing that they are impaired and being the person responsible for their condition, a case could possibly be made against you if they were to get into an accident and cause injuries to others.
Do I Need An Attorney?
If someone else wrecks your car, but there are no injuries, you’ll likely only need to deal with your insurance carrier. Your premiums will almost certainly go up, but it’s unlikely to become a legal issue.
Any time there are injuries however, no matter who is at fault, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. If the person who you lent your car to is found to be at fault in the accident, and the person they hit decides to hire their own attorney, it’s a wise idea to speak with a lawyer and find out what you may be liable for, if anything.
To learn more or to request a free consultation, please contact our office today.
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