We’ve all been there when a friend or family member needs to borrow our car for a quick errand or maybe even a day or two. For some reason they don’t have a car and are in a fix. You hand in your keys assuming everything is okay – but that’s not always the case. When someone else is using your car and is involved in an accident, several different factors usually come together to cover the damage and injury. Here we can address these scenarios and answer your questions. In short, it’s not as unique or difficult as insurance carriers would like you to believe.
3 answers to your questions when someone else drives your car and has an accident in Texas
While the majority of insurance carriers are perfectly happy to make people believe that making a claim on a rented car is a difficult or complicated process, we are here to give you the knowledge it needs to be in control to take over your claim or just give it to you You can calmly understand the process while we support you. Unless every driver and every car is not insured in the event of an accident, there is almost always at least one policy to cover the damage. Our attorneys can and will examine all available policies to ensure that you, our client, are being looked after in the first place.
Can I sue my friend for my car crashed?
This is where it can confuse those who don’t understand the fine print of Texas insurance and auto accident laws. There are basically two main factors to consider when asked: Does your friend have permission to borrow your car and does your friend have their own auto insurance? If your friend is at fault but also has permission to borrow your car, your insurance as the owner is generally the first to cover the claim. If your friend is not at fault and has permission to borrow your car, insurance of the culprit driver is the first insurance policy. Alternatively, if you fail to give your friend verbal, written, or tacit permission to drive your car, the car could be considered a stolen vehicle and your insurance company would be held liable to cover the accident. If your friend is at fault and your car is uninsured and your friend is also uninsured, then suing them is not an option. In this case, there is no insurance policy to cover the cost of the claim. Hence, there is no money to pay you to reach an agreement and the accident becomes essentially unrecoverable financially.
Am I liable if my name is on a car title?
Simply put, there is simply no specific answer to this question. As a car owner, your insurance will be the first to cover the accident if your friend is at fault. In addition, car owners are expected to keep their vehicles in a safe and working condition, and they are legally required to maintain auto insurance for their vehicles – a failure to keep your vehicle in working order (i.e. bad tires, faulty brakes etc.) leading to an accident would mean that you will be held liable. There is also negligent trust law to be observed, which means that you may be responsible for knowingly handing your keys over to someone with a bad license, being drunk or using drugs, being a minor, not having a driver’s license and / or poorly are trained or untrained in the operation of the vehicle. Another way to hold you liable is through the Family Purpose Doctrine. If a parent rents their vehicle to their underage child and the child causes an accident, you – the parent and the vehicle owner – will be held responsible.
Can someone drive my car and be covered by my insurance?
Most standard insurance covers a driver who is not listed on your policy but who is allowed to drive your car. The only way to know for sure is to read your policy carefully and speak to your representative or allow us to assist you with your claim so we can review your policy for you. If you specifically designate someone as an excluded driver in your policy, your policy does not cover them at all. This is an important distinction and means that you should never let an excluded driver operate your car.
Speak to a Fort Worth, Texas auto accident attorney for free
At Patterson Law Group, our associates and attorneys understand that accidents happen after all of our careers are focused on helping those who have done wrong due to the negligence of another. We’re always there for you, answering all your insurance questions and even answering them free of charge – that’s how happy we are to help those who need them.