Lieberman, Ryan & Forrest, L.L.C.
Somerset County
Hunterdon County

Who is responsible when you get in an accident in a borrowed car?

Even the safest of drivers can find themselves in an accident. Matters become complicated when the driver behind the wheel is not the actual owner of the car. In instances of borrowed car accidents, the owner may become a liability. The insurance status of the driver and whether the accident was the fault of the driver or not also comes into play.

There are two main types of insurance regarding automobile accidents; collision insurance and liability insurance. Family members, spouses and children who share the same address as the owner and may drive the car are also listed under the insurance policy. In instances where someone else is driving the car and ends up in an accident, the owner's insurance coverage becomes liable. This is because generally, insurance follows the car and naturally the owner of the car will be held liable. The owner's coverage plan will cover the costs regardless of whether the driver is insured or not. If the owner of the car has liability insurance, the owner may claim liability coverage for the damages sustained by the other party.

There are certain instances in borrowed car accidents where liability lies with the driver and not the owner of the vehicle. This happens when the driver is specially excluded from the insurance policy. This may be because of the irresponsible nature of the excluded driver, a poor driving record or a past DUI conviction. In such cases, the excluded driver is held liable for the accident. This is also true in cases where the driver took the car out without the owner's permission and got into an accident. Again the owner would not be held liable in such a case.

The owner's car insurance is the primary coverage that would apply if an accident occurs. It is thus important to be careful when lending your car to other people. This may prevent you from becoming a liability if an accident happens at the hands of the driver who borrowed your car. If you have questions regarding your car insurance policy you should consult with a personal injury attorney, who will guide you accordingly.

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