Picture this: An old friend of yours asks to borrow your car to go to a job interview. His car broke down, so you are his only option. You know your friend is a responsible and careful driver, so you decide to lend him your vehicle without a second thought. However, later that day, you receive an unexpected call: Your friend got distracted behind the wheel and crashed into another car. After receiving this news, one question may come to mind: who will have to pay for all this?!
This LA motor vehicle accident lawyer points out that several factors can affect the situation. However, the attorney notes that the vehicle owner will be responsible for the damages in most cases.
The insurance follows the car.
Some people believe that insurance is bound to the driver; they are wrong. If the vehicle owner has an insurance policy, it will follow the vehicle in the vast majority of cases. Therefore, the vehicle owner’s insurance will cover damages after an accident.
In the example above, your car insurance would cover the damages caused to the other driver. If the damage exceeds your policy limit, your friend’s liability coverage will pay for the rest.
There are some insurance exemptions.
While the car owner is liable in most cases, some exemptions apply. Generally, if you gave the other driver permission to drive your car, you will be responsible. However, be aware of the following exemptions:
In some states, you may be able to exclude specific drivers from your insurance policy. Why would you do this? Perhaps a family member has a bad driving record, and excluding them improves your insurance rates. If you lend your car to an excluded driver and he or she causes a crash, the insurance company will deny your claim. But if the excluded driver uses your vehicle without permission, you may not be liable for damages.
If you knowingly lend your vehicle to an inexperienced or incompetent driver, and that individual causes a crash, rest assured that your claim will be denied. You may even be sued for negligence.
Of course, if someone uses your car without your permission, you may not be liable for damages caused by that person. However, proving that you didn’t grant permission to use your vehicle can be complicated, but an attorney can help. If you want to learn more about the benefits of hiring a local car accident attorney, visit: https://legalfacts.org/car-accident-attorneys/
Talk to a professional today.
These types of situations can be tricky and challenging to understand. That’s why, if you’re going through something similar, you should consider contacting a Los Angeles car accident attorney to help you navigate through the situation. C&B Law Group, and many other law firms, offer free consultations. So don’t hesitate to contact a professional if you have further questions.
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