Egolf Ferlic Martinez Harwood Attorneys At Law
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Egolf Ferlic Martinez Harwood Attorneys At Law

Solving Your Problems With Effective Advocacy

Lending someone your car? You could be on the hook for a wreck

| May 28, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Maybe it’s your brother asking and he is really in a bad spot. Perhaps your best friend needs a favor. But you’re still a bit hesitant about loaning your car to anyone.

The person asking to borrow your vehicle reminds you that they have a good driving record and plenty of insurance. Does that make any difference?

Probably not.

When your car gets into an accident, it may not matter who is driving

Car insurance policies generally follow the insured vehicle, not the driver. This is true whether your teenager borrows your car or you loan it to your neighbor for an emergency.

If the person who borrows your car has their own insurance, your car insurance will still usually be primary in any accident claim. Theirs would only “kick in” if the damages were extensive and your policy’s limits were exceeded.

There are a few exceptions to this rule. If, for example, your brother grabbed your keys without asking because you weren’t around and took your car without permission, that could relieve you of any responsibility for a wreck.

Your insurance could also refuse to pay if you violate the terms of your policy by loaning your car out to a dangerous driver, a driver without a license or a driver who is formally excluded from your policy for any reason. In a situation like that, however, you could be personally on the hook for any damages they cause in a wreck — even if your insurance isn’t.

What if you get hit by a driver in a borrowed car?

In a situation like that, your injury claim can get complicated. Insurance companies sometimes try to shift liability around and make it harder for victims to get fair compensation.

Working with an experienced advocate is usually the best way to protect your interests and your future after a serious wreck.