Usually, you’re not thinking of a car accident when you loan a friend or family your car. However, accidents are part of life. Unfortunately, you can never predict when you or any other driver may get into an accident.
If you get into a car accident while driving your car, your auto insurer pays for the damages after you have filed a claim. If you were the driver at fault in a car accident, and the other driver suffers injuries, your insurer pays for the damages.
Unfortunately, it’s not so straightforward if someone drives your car and gets into a car accident. It is now a bit more complicated as there are different things to consider. In Atlanta, the general rule is that car insurance is for cars, not drivers. However, this is not always the case.
For instance, if the other driver does not have your permission or is not included in your insurance, they may be responsible for liability. In this article, our Atlanta car accident lawyers shed light on when you are at fault and when the person driving is liable.
What Happens When the Person Driving Your Car Is Not at Fault?
As already mentioned, auto insurance covers vehicles and not drivers. However, when the person driving your car is not the at-fault party, you don’t pay the liabilities. Instead, the other driver’s insurance pays for any damages that are from the accident. If the driver of your vehicle is at fault, your insurer pays for the liabilities from the accident. However, you may need to work with an Atlanta car attorney to know how best to proceed.
Does the Driver of Your Car Have Your Express Permission?
If the person driving your car gets into an accident with your express permission, the person may get covered by your insurer. Express consent is when you permit someone to drive your vehicle for a specific reason or to a particular destination. For example, you ask a friend to run to the store and get something. If the driver of your car does just that, they get covered. However, if they take a detour, your insurer may not cover them.
But the above may not apply if there is negligent entrustment. Your insurer may refuse to pay for liabilities if they can prove negligent entrustment. Negligent entrustment is when any of the following happens:
- The driver of your vehicle is underage, inexperienced, or unlicensed.
- You permitted someone who is known to you as a reckless driver to drive your car.
- If the person driving your vehicle was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- The driver was injured, ill, or taking medications.
What if My Car Got Stolen?
If your car was stolen and got involved in an accident, you may not be liable. This is because you and your insurer do not get exposed to the damage caused by your stolen vehicle’s driver. But, your insurance coverage applies to you if your car gets stolen and gets in an accident.
Unfortunately, if a friend or family steals your car and gets into an accident, you may be liable. You may be liable because it is difficult to prove that a friend or family member drove your car without your permission.
What To Do if Another Person Drives Your Car and Gets Into an Accident
Take the following steps if someone crashes your car:
- Call a Car Accident Attorney: Every car accident case is different. It will be best to call an experienced car attorney right away as you may need counsel on what next steps to take. An attorney will help prove that the accident was not the fault of the person driving your vehicle if that’s the case.
- Document the Accident: Ensure that your car driver or you call the police. The police documents the car accident. In addition, the documentation done by the police may serve as evidence when making or paying for claims.
- Understand Your Insurance Coverage: Ensure you know the extent of your insurance coverage and how it is applied.
Get Professional Help Now!
You need professional help with liability claims where another person was driving your car and got into an accident. This is why you should contact an experienced car accident attorney in Atlanta. Our lawyers will ensure you do not pay for damages unless you absolutely have to. We work on a contingency basis and demand no upfront fee. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers.