In some scenarios, you might not have your own car to drive, and your friend lets you borrow theirs. Whether yours is in the shop, you’re in between owning vehicles, or you just don’t have one in general, it’s extremely generous of a friend or family member to allow you to borrow their car. You’re already feeling thankful that they trust you with their vehicle, so what happens if you get into an accident while driving their car?
There’s so much information you need to know about the complications and insurance. Let’s take a look so you can know what happens.
The Complications of Borrowing Someone’s Car
You might think that someone letting you borrow their car is just a generous act that you’re thankful for and think nothing more of it. But it’s more than just generous—they’re trusting you with a vehicle that they need, and hoping you are just as careful as they would be when they drive.
There are so many complications that could arise when you borrow someone else’s car. Here, we’re talking about when you get into a wreck in someone else’s car, but that’s not the only thing that could go wrong. Their car could malfunction and break down, you could run out of gas, get pulled over, or experience another unexpected setback in someone else’s car.
This can all increase the stress because you’re already feeling nervous about driving someone else’s car. So when you get pulled over or get into a crash in a car that isn’t yours, you could be feeling even more stress and guilt because the person trusted you with their vehicle.
But the accident might not have been your fault. It’s important to try to stay as calm as possible and take the necessary steps to ensure everything is reported properly.
Whose Insurance Covers the Accident When It’s Not Your Car?
As a general rule, auto insurance follows a car—not the driver. This means that the owner of the car you were borrowing should have their own insurance policy that covers their vehicle in the event of an accident.
When you live in the same house and are family, it’s typically easier to file the insurance claim because their policy probably covers you. If you borrow their car on a regular basis, then you should be on their insurance plan anyway. But if this is your first time or you don’t borrow the car often, then their insurance should cover the damages.
However, even though the insurance for the car should cover it, it’s important that you have your own insurance as well. This way, if there are additional costs that the car owner’s insurance doesn’t cover, you have coverage that you can turn to as well.
If you weren’t at fault for the accident, and the car you were borrowing didn’t malfunction, then the other driver was likely at fault. If that’s the case, then the other driver’s insurance is supposed to cover the collision, and you might not have to worry about the car owner’s insurance or your secondary coverage at all.
This can all get a bit complicated. That’s why it’s important to hire a car accident lawyer after an accident while driving someone else’s car. With an attorney’s experience, knowledge and execution, you can hold the correct party accountable and ensure everything is taken care of.
What to Do Before a Friend Borrows Your Car
Whether someone is borrowing your car or you’re borrowing someone else’s car, there are some things you need to establish before they drive off. You might think it’s practical to ask some questions just so you have a timeline of their use of the car, but questions could help you in the event of an accident too.
Being on the same page ensures both parties know what’s going on and what is expected. Here are some of the questions you should ask before letting someone borrow your car:
- Ask if they have insurance
- Tell them where the registration is
- Tell them about your expectations for how they’ll drive
- Keep in mind an accident could happen
- Make sure you trust them to make good decisions behind the wheel
- Ask them where they’re going and when they’ll be back
- Take note of the gas and odometer reading for reference
If you’re the one borrowing your friend’s car, make sure you have permission before taking their car anywhere. Even if you feel like you’re asking too many questions or giving them too many details, it’s helpful to make sure they know you have their car and where you intend to take it. That way, if an accident happens, they aren’t surprised that you have the car or where you are—they’re only surprised about the collision.
If they forget you’re using it, didn’t know where you were going, or didn’t give you explicit permission to use their vehicle, then there could be more complications. Make sure you’re both on the same page so that everything can go smoothly in the event of an accident.
Schweickert Ganassin Krzak Rundio, LLP Can Help You
After borrowing someone’s car and getting into a wreck, you may not know where to turn. You could be facing a confusing situation and could be unsure whose insurance covers what happened and how you can recover from the injuries and damages that weren’t your fault even though it wasn’t your car.
That’s where our car accident lawyer from Schweickert Ganassin Krzak Rundio, LLP comes in. We’re prepared to support you and answer all your legal questions so you can better understand what’s going on. Reach out to our office today so we can help you through your claim. Call us for a free initial consultation.