Brian White | January 30, 2024 | Car Accidents
It is common to let another person borrow your vehicle. However, what happens if that person gets into a car accident while driving your vehicle? Understanding the possible legal implications and potential scenarios is crucial.
An experienced car accident attorney can help you navigate the intricacies of what happens in Texas when someone else is behind the wheel of your car during an accident.
What if the Person Driving My Car Was at Fault?
If the person driving your car is at fault in an accident, your auto insurance coverage typically comes into play. In Texas, auto insurance typically follows the vehicle, meaning the owner’s insurance is the primary insurance associated with the vehicle.
Your liability coverage should extend to cover damages caused by the driver at fault up to the policy limits. Without the coverage, reimbursing the damage may be much more expensive. You can attempt to sue the at-fault party later to recoup these costs, but the initial compensation for the other party’s damages will come out of your insurance.
You should also be prepared for a potential rate increase. While the accident may affect your insurance rates, it’s your coverage that steps in to address the damages. If the opposing party was partially at fault for their injuries, seeking compensation can help offset these costs.
What Happens if Someone Wrecks Your Car and They Aren’t on Your Insurance?
If the driver involved in the accident isn’t listed on your insurance policy, the situation becomes more complex. As stated above, in Texas, insurance typically follows the car, not the driver. If you gave permission for someone to drive your car, your insurance should cover the damages resulting from the accident.
However, if the driver took your car without permission, you may not be able to so easily resolve the other party’s claims. Your insurance may decline to cover part or all of the damages.
You also risk legal action. The other party in the accident can potentially file a lawsuit against you to seek compensation, even if you were not behind the wheel when the accident happened. This compensation includes medical expenses, property damage, and even lost wages, which can add up.
What Happens if Another Driver Caused the Accident?
If another driver caused the accident, the liability shifts to their insurance. Your insurance might still be involved, especially if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.
If your policy includes uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, this coverage may protect you when the at-fault driver lacks adequate insurance. After the at-fault driver’s policy is exhausted, your insurance may come into play.
A Car Crash Lawyer Can Help if Someone Else Driving Your Car Gets Into an Accident
There are a few possible exceptions to liability coverage when someone else wrecks your car. When this happens, it is crucial to contact a seasoned personal injury lawyer immediately.
Your coverage may not apply in the following situations:
- If the driver used your car without permission: Your insurance may still provide coverage, but complications may arise. Insurance companies may investigate the circumstances, and legal advice may be necessary.
- If you specifically excluded the driver from your insurance policy: Your coverage may be denied. It’s crucial to review your policy to understand any exclusions.
- If the driver broke the law or violated the terms of your insurance policy: Your insurer may decline to extend coverage to your driver. Be aware of any policy provisions related to unlawful use.
A knowledgeable attorney can provide the support and legal counsel you need to navigate this intricate terrain. Remember, every situation is unique, and having experienced advocates by your side can make a significant difference in achieving a fair resolution.
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