What happens when your car is involved in an automobile injury, but you aren’t there? When a friend borrows your car and ends up in an accident, the lines seem to get very blurry about who is responsible and whose insurance is responsible. There are a ton of factors that come to play in personal injury situation like this so it’s best to consult with a personal injury attorney in Bozeman before you start taking action – and consult with them right away! The attorneys at Tourtlotte Law Firm can help you understand what you and your insurance is responsible for.
You are going to have to look at a few different elements that come into play before responsiblity can be determined.
As a rule of thumb, auto insurance policies typically follow the vehicle, not the driver. That means that if your friend had your permission to drive your car and was involved in an auto accident, your policy will kick in just as it would if you were the one driving. Of course, you still have to consider the type of coverage you carry. That means that if the damages that occur exceed your coverage, the driver of the vehicle’s insurance company will have to cover whatever is left over.
Unfortuantely, these types of claims do go against your vehicle record and can cause your insurance premiums to increase. Every personal injury lawyer will tell you to be extremely careful about who you allow to drive your vehicle.
When it comes down to it, unless your vehicle is stolen and criminal charges are filed, the responsiblity of the accident will be laid on you and your insurance company.
There are usually some exceptions when it comes to policies and insurance related issues. In this circumstance, there are some scenarios where responsibility isn’t black-and-white or laid on the shoulders of the insurance company.
If the driver of the vehicle was impaired or, in any way, unfit to be driving at the time of the accident, insurance companies are going to deny the claim. That means that you, as the owner of the vehicle, will be responsible for any damages.
If the driver is not licensed, you will be responsible. If the driver is breaking any other driving laws at the time of the accident, you will be held responsibile. This includes distracted driving, under age driving, minors driving alone past 11pm, or the driver driving under the influence.
If the driver is driving your car frequently, but not listed as a driver on your insurance policy, the insurance company will likely deny the claim.
Don’t allow anyone to drive your car. There are a lot of situations that can arise and if the person driving your car is not responsible, safe and committed to following the rules of the road, the result could be extremely negative for you. If your vehicle has been involved in an automobile accident and you don’t know what to do – contact the professional personal injury attorneys at Tourtlotte Law Firm in Bozeman today!