We have 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 whatever reason, they don’t have a car and are in a bind. You hand your keys over and assume all will be okay – but that’s not always the case. If someone else is using your car and gets into an accident, a few different factors would typically come together to cover the damages and injuries. Here we’ll be able to 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 If Someone Else Is Driving Your Car & Gets in an Accident in Texas
While the majority of insurance carriers are perfectly content with letting people believe that making a claim on a borrowed car is a difficult or complicated process, we’re here to provide you with the knowledge necessary to take control of your claim or just to give you peace of mind in understanding the process while we assist you. Unless every driver and car is uninsured in an accident, there is almost always at least one policy to help cover the damages. Our attorneys can and will investigate every policy available to make sure you, our client, are taken care of first and foremost.
Can I Sue My Friend for Crashing My Car?
This is where it can confuse those who don’t understand the fine print of insurance and car accident laws in Texas. There are essentially two major factors to consider when asked: does your friend have your 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, would generally be the first to cover the claim. If your friend is not at fault and has permission to borrow your car, the at-fault driver’s insurance would be the first policy to kick in. Alternatively, if you did not grant verbal, written, or implied permission to your friend to drive your car, it could be considered a stolen vehicle, and their insurance would be held liable to cover the accident. If your friend is at fault and there is no insurance on your car, and your friend is also uninsured, suing them is not an option. In this instance, there is no insurance policy to cover the cost of the claim; therefore, there would be no money to pay you for any settlement, and the accident essentially becomes financially unrecoverable.
Am I Liable if My Name Is On a Car Title?
Simply put, there is just not one specific answer to this question. As the car owner, your insurance will be the first in line to cover the accident if your friend is at fault. Additionally, car owners are expected to keep their vehicles in safe, working order and are legally required to keep auto insurance on their vehicles – failure to keep your vehicle in working condition (i.e., bad tires, faulty brakes, etc.) that leads to an accident would mean you would be held liable. There is also the Negligent Entrustment law to consider, meaning you could be liable for knowingly handing your keys to someone with a bad driving record, is drunk or using drugs, is underage, doesn’t have a driver’s license, and/or is poorly trained or untrained in how to operate the vehicle. Another way you could be held liable is under the “Family Purpose Doctrine,” meaning that if a parent loans their vehicle to their minor child and the child causes an accident, you – the parent and vehicle owner, would be held responsible.
Can Someone Drive My Car & Be Covered On My Insurance?
Most standard insurance policies will cover a driver that’s not listed on your policy but has permission to drive your car. The only way to know for sure is to read your policy closely and speak to your agent or allow us to assist you with your claim so we can examine your policy for you. In the event that you specifically name someone on your policy as an excluded driver, your policy will not cover them at all. This is an important distinction and means you should never let an excluded driver operate your car.
Talk to a Fort Worth, Texas Car Accident Lawyer for Free
At Patterson Law Group, our staff and attorneys understand that accidents happen after all our careers are built around helping those who have been wronged due to someone else’s negligence. We’re always here and ready to answer any insurance questions you may have and will even answer them for free – that’s how much we love to help those who need it.