Can You Be Held Liable For An Accident When Someone Else Is Driving Your Vehicle?

Owning a car provides comfort and convenience. However, there are situations when it can cause you headaches. Case in point: Someone else drove your car and got involved in a road accident. What’s worse is that apart from damaging your car, he or she also got another person injured. One common question that a car accident lawyer receives is whether one can be held liable when another person is driving the vehicle.

There are different answers depending on the specific situation.

You allowed a fit driver to borrow your car. In this case, your car insurance will be the one to cover the expenses obtained from the accident. However, there are instances when the borrower’s insurer is responsible for covering the damages. You may need to talk to an auto accident lawyer to help you identify the coverage of your and the car-borrower’s policy.

You allowed an unfit driver to operate your car. Because you permitted an unfit person to drive your car, you will be liable for the damages that the accident will cause. A driver is considered unfit if he or she is drunk, inexperienced, under-aged, or has an illness that could affect his or her driving.

You allowed your child to drive your car. If your child doesn’t have a license yet or is inexperienced and you allowed him or her to operate your vehicle, you as a parent will be held liable should he or she cause a road accident. In some states, the person who signed the minor’s driver’s license will also be responsible for the latter’s irresponsible driving behavior.

You allowed your employee to drive your car. According to a car accident lawyer, you as an employer could be responsible for a road mishap caused by your employee while driving your car. The crucial factor here is when the accident took place. You’ll only be held liable if the accident happened while your employee performs his or her job duties.

Now, what if it is the other driver’s fault? In this case, the liability will be shouldered by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Depending on who will file a personal injury claim, the at-fault driver can receive at most two claims — one from you, the car owner; another from the other person who is operating your car at the time of the accident.

However, whether your car-borrower is at fault or not, it’s recommended to consult with an auto accident lawyer. As things can get quite complicated because of the several parties involved, having an experienced professional by your side can help you handle and resolve the damages more seamlessly. At the end of the day, you can either receive the maximum compensation possible or have your car insurance provider pay reasonable compensation (if your car-borrower is at fault).

You also need to be more careful and proactive in the future. Before lending your car to anyone, assess if the driver is really fit to operate your vehicle. Never allow a negligent driver to borrow your car.

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