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What Happens if Someone Else is Driving Your Car and Gets in an Accident?

Car accidents can be a traumatic experience for anyone involved in them. After an accident, recovery from physical, financial, or psychological damages can take a long time. This situation turns complex if the victim of the accident involving your car was someone apart from you. Since the vehicle will be in your name, even if you have insurance, you will have to deal with the legal process of liability and claims. I

If your car has been in an accident when someone else was driving it, you can contact a Houston car accident attorney to discuss the different ways you can address the issue. 

Who is liable for damages in an accident involving a borrowed car?

As the owner of the vehicle, the driver must have your permission to drive the car. Written, verbal, or implied consent suffices to count as permission to drive someone’s vehicle. This is essential because driving someone else’s car without permission is a crime. If someone gets into an accident while driving your car and does not have prior permission from you as the owner to borrow your car, they may face criminal charges. 

If the driver of your car was responsible for the accident, your auto insurance covers the damages incurred by the victim. This can happen in two different ways:

  • One situation can be when the person driving your car had your permission to do the same and was at fault for the accident. In this situation, if you have opted for auto insurance, the policy will cover the damages regardless of who the driver is. This is called primary insurance coverage. 
  • Suppose the situation remains the same, but your insurance policy cannot cover 100% of the damages caused. In that case, the deficit will be covered by the auto insurance policy of the person driving your car at the time of the accident. This is called secondary insurance coverage. 

If the driver of your car was not responsible for the accident, you are eligible to receive financial compensation from the driver at fault. You must file a third-party insurance claim against the party at fault to receive this compensation. This claim will cover medical as well as vehicle damages.

Being the vehicle owner involved in an accident when you are not the driver can pose challenging legal hurdles. It is essential to contact an attorney who can guide you through the protocols of insurance policies and their rules of coverage. 

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