If you own a car, you’ve probably loaned it to a friend or family member on occasion. Most of the time, your car is returned to you in good condition. What happens, though, when your car is involved in an accident while it was being driven by another person? That can become a somewhat complicated situation depending on your insurance and the at-fault party in the accident.
The onus of legal and financial responsibility falls to the at-fault driver’s or vehicle owner’s insurance. That means if the person to whom you loaned your car caused the accident, you (as the vehicle owner) might be forced to bear some responsibility for property damage and injuries caused in the accident. Depending on your insurance policy, it may cover the costs of the accident because the insurance typically, although, not always, follows the vehicle. Be sure to verify the coverage your insurer affords you before you purchase a new policy. The insurance policy you purchase must meet the state of Georgia’s accepted requirements for liability.
While you cannot completely eliminate the risk of an accident when your car is on loan, you can minimize the risk by fully examining and understanding the terms of your policy, and by setting certain rules of behavior for anyone borrowing your car, such as not drinking and driving and ensuring they are in possession of a valid driver’s license before allowing anyone not listed on your insurance policy to borrow your vehicle. You should only lend your car to trustworthy, responsible drivers.
Maintaining constant insurance coverage, understanding the terms of your policy, and only lending your vehicle to people you trust are smart ways to decrease the likelihood of an accident and protect yourself from liability. Should you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having your vehicle involved in an accident when driven by someone other than you, or if you are the victim of a car accident caused by a driver in an uninsured vehicle, schedule a consultation with personal injury attorney, Michael W. McElroy, today!