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Am I Responsible if I Let Someone Borrow My Car and He Causes an Accident?

As a general rule, so long as you gave permission for the individual to borrow your car to drive, and he or she did so pursuant to you giving permission, your insurance policy will cover damages that result from an accident. However, any vehicle insurance policy that the driver of your vehicle has also may cover some of the losses on a secondary basis, especially if your policy is maxed to the limits by the damages from the accident. The downside to this situation, of course, is that any accident or insurance payout is likely to be placed on your insurance record, which can result in a substantial increase in your insurance policy premiums.

Whether an individual had permission to drive your case is not always as clear-cut as it might first seem. Common situations in which another person might have to consent to drive your car include a babysitter driving your kids to school or to the park, or your sister-in-law borrowing your car for a few days while she is getting her own vehicle repaired. However, if a friend simply borrows your car without your knowledge on a particular occasion, even if he has done some regularly in the past, there may be a question as to whether you have any liability for any accidents that result.

The amount and quality of the insurance coverage that you have available also is a factor that determines your responsibility for an accident that occurs when another driver crashes your car. For instance, if the driver is uninsured, you may face additional liability under your own car insurance policy. If your policy places certain limits on personal property damage and bodily injury damages, then you could be personally liable for any expenses of a car accident victim that exceed your policy limits.

Personal injury law can be complex, and the outcome of personal injury claims can be extremely fact-specific. As a result, you will need the legal advice and guidance of experienced Madison personal injury attorneys in order to make certain decisions about your potential claim. For more information about whether a personal injury claim is an option for you, based on the facts and circumstances surrounding your case, contact the Wisconsin personal injury lawyers of Boller & Vaughan today.