If you recently lent your car to someone who got into an accident, you might be wondering what will happen and whether or not it affects your vehicle insurance. Here are some things to know about this particular situation and what your next steps are.
Your Insurance is Likely Affected
The first thing you need to know is that when someone borrows your car, it is usually your policy that is affected, not theirs. This is because accidents tend to follow the vehicle. You might get some partial coverage for any damage done if they have vehicle insurance, but this often depends on who caused the accident and other factors. If you report the accident to your insurance company, expect to have your insurance premiums increased. Reporting the accident is often necessary when you want help paying for property damage to the vehicle. Also keep in mind bodily injuries might not be covered for the person who borrowed the vehicle since their name isn't actually on the policy.
You May Be Liable For Lawsuits
Not only is it likely that your own vehicle insurance will be affected by the accident, but you might even be liable for related lawsuits. For example, if the person who borrowed your vehicle was under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and you were aware of it when giving them permission, any issues with people they got into the accident with and impending damage could be your responsibility. You might also be sued if you allowed someone without a driver's license to drive your vehicle, if you are found to have known about it beforehand. This is why it is some important to know who is going to borrow your vehicle. Never let someone who is an exclusion on your policy borrow it, since they won't be covered under your policy.
You Need Proof if You Didn't Give Permission
If you did not give someone permission to use your vehicle and they got into an accident, you might not be liable for any charges, but you need to prove that you didn't give permission. For example, if someone stole your car, but you never filed a police report, this will require additional proof that someone actually took your car and then caused the accident. You will also need proof if someone you know or who lives with you took your car without asking. This can be difficult if they have used your vehicle before with your permission, but they just didn't have it this time.
Regardless of the circumstances, it can help to have a car accident attorney. They will help you understand the law regarding borrowed vehicles and let you know what to do next. You can click here for info on this topic.