If Someone Else Drives Your Car and Gets in an Accident are You Responsible
Do you sometimes let other drivers operate your vehicle? If so, it is essential that you have a basic understanding of how the insurance rules and regulations work in California. One of the biggest myths is that insurance coverage only follows the driver. This is misleading without further context.
When you let someone else drive your car, your insurance policy is likely responsible for any accident they cause. If you have any specific questions or concerns about your rights after someone else drove your car and got in an accident, contact an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney for help.
DID YOU GIVE THE DRIVER PERMISSION? YOUR INSURANCE POLICY IS LIKELY RESPONSIBLE
When you let someone else drive your car, you need to be prepared for the possibility that they could end up in a major crash. Even if you trust the person, it could still happen. Millions of motor vehicle collisions are reported in the United States annually. While some of those crashes are simply mild fender-benders, many others are extremely serious.
The basic rule with auto insurance is that permissive use is covered under comprehensive, collision, and liability policies. In other words, when you let someone else use your car, your insurance coverage is likely to still be active. If they get into a one-vehicle crash and cause considerable damage to your car, your policy will — usually — still cover your losses. Similarly, if they use your car and cause a serious multi-vehicle wreck, your policy is likely still responsible.
THERE ARE SOME EXCEPTIONS TO THE GENERAL RULE
Insurance policies are complicated. Indeed, there are few true bright light rules in the insurance industry. There are exceptions that apply to almost every scenario — and someone else driving your car and getting into an accident is no different.
If another person takes your car without permission, then your policy will not be responsible for covering the accident that they cause. To be clear, your losses can still be covered if your vehicle was damaged after it was stolen, but you will not be liable for damages sustained by third parties.
The other major exception is for excluded drivers. If your insurance policy explicitly excludes certain drivers, then they are not covered. Make sure you protect yourself from financial responsibility. If you regularly let a specific person use your vehicle, the best thing you can do is to get them added as a named driver on your insurance policy. This will help you ensure that you do not end up exposed to potential liability for a crash.
CALL OUR LOS ANGELES AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS TODAY
At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, our California car accident lawyers fight tirelessly to get winning, successful results for our clients. If someone else got into a crash in your vehicle and you have questions about your rights or responsibilities, we can help. To request a free consultation, please contact our law firm today. We represent clients in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.
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