Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Am I Liable if Someone Else Driving My Car Gets into an Accident?

Published on Aug 13, 2019 at 11:30 am in Auto Accident.

You may not think twice about letting a trusted friend or family member drive your car if the situation calls for it. However, you’re also probably not thinking about the consequences of that person getting into an auto wreck. These situations can cause some confusion with insurance companies and you may be affected, even if you weren’t in the car at the time. Here’s what you need to know about how liability is determined after a collision involving a vehicle that’s owned by someone other than who is driving:

How Does Insurance Apply When Someone Else Drives Your Car?

Many people believe in a common misconception when their friend or family member is driving their car. They think that insurance applies to the driver. However, this is not the case. Insurance applies to the vehicle. So, if someone who is not on your insurance plan is driving your vehicle, your insurance still applies in the case of an accident.

While this may not seem like a huge deal if there’s a minor accident where no one is injured, the situation can quickly become complicated if the accident is serious. Let’s take a look at the various ways that an accident can occur and how they affect your insurance.

What Are the Different Car Accident Situations That Can Arise?

There are some scenarios where you do not have to worry about your insurance. If your friend is driving your car and gets in an accident, but the other driver was at fault, then the at-fault driver’s insurance will cover the damages and costs.

Your insurance situation can get more serious if your friend was at fault for the wreck. If the accident doesn’t cause any injuries, your insurance will cover the property damages. However, if you don’t have collision coverage, you’ll have to cover damages to your vehicle. You’ll also pay your deductible.

If the accident caused bodily harm, your insurance may be used to cover medical bills after personal injury protection (PIP) coverage has been applied. If the injuries are serious and you owe the victim more money to cover the costs of their injuries, then your friend’s coverage may be added on top of yours to ensure the victim gets the proper amount.

However, your friend may not have any insurance at all. This is a dangerous situation because there isn’t another insurance plan to cover the additional costs once yours is completely used. Since it was your car and therefore your insurance applies, you can be held personally responsible for covering the rest of the costs, which could be financially damaging. Before letting a friend borrow your car, you should know if they have insurance coverage. If they don’t, it’s not a good idea to let them drive your vehicle because of the severe financial issues you could have if they harm someone in a collision.

One issue you may not have expected to have is if someone steals your car and then causes an accident. If it’s a stranger, then you will not be held liable for the other person’s injuries if there are any, but your collision coverage will be used to pay for your car’s damages.

It can be tricky if your friend steals your car because you’ll have to prove that they did not have permission to do so. You’ll have to convince the insurance company. If they believe you, your friend’s insurance will cover the damages. The matter can get complicated if the insurance company does not believe you and you may want to contact a car accident attorney.

How Can You Protect Your Auto Insurance?

As a person with insurance, you want to do everything possible to not raise your premiums or be in a situation where you’re held liable for the accident. The first way to occur to you may be to never let anyone drive your car. While this is an option, there still may come a time where someone is in need of a vehicle and you may be the only one who can and wants to help.

You can take the time to understand your insurance policy. Many people may have one, but not know the finer details including who the plan covers and what will happen in the event of an accident. You can go over your insurance policy with your insurance agent so they can explain it to you and answer your questions.

When you have this conversation, you can gain more insight on your policy’s deductible, its parameters, and you may find that you want to add something to the policy that will give you more peace of mind.

Get Sound Legal Advice

The lawyers at Thomas Law Offices have helped countless people get the justice they deserve. When someone else drives your car in Chicago and an accident results, you want an expert on your side to make sure you’re not paying more than you need to. We’ll stand up for your rights no matter what. Get in touch with us today.

Meet Your Team

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Legal & Firm News

Federal Judge Rules Wrongful Death Claims Against Monsanto as Time-Barred

As Bayer announces wanting to keep Roundup on the market for the foreseeable future without adding a warning about the potential cancer risk, a judge in Georgia has ruled a wrongful death claim against Monsanto as time-barred. This ruling, along with Monsanto’s settlement, could affect future cases. To understand why, let’s start by taking a […]

Read More

Car Accident Soreness: What to Expect in the Weeks After a Crash

The moments following a car accident are filled with adrenaline, so much so that even if you’re injured, you may not experience pain. But as your body adjusts and your brain’s chemicals return to their normal state, the pain is likely to start. So even if you seek medical attention and have your injuries treated, […]

Read More

Multi-Vehicle Accidents: Who Pays for Chain Reaction Crashes?

You’re driving down the road on your way to work in heavy traffic. Everything seems standard for your morning commute until you’re sideswiped by a passing vehicle and subsequently rear-ended by the car behind you when you brake. Emergency responders arrive at the scene, and you’re treated for your injuries and told to follow up […]

Read More