We all do it—your sister needs to make a trip to the grocery store, a friend needs to run an errand—but they need to borrow your car. Seems harmless right? After all, they are responsible, licensed drivers and would never get into an accident. Think again! Accidents happen, regardless of how responsible we might be, but if you lend your car to someone and they get into an accident, you could potentially expose yourself legally. Here is what you need to know before you let someone drive your car.
Did you let someone borrow your car and they got into an accident?
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If Someone Borrows My Car and Gets in an Accident Am I Liable?
The Sunshine State has a law known as the “dangerous instrumentality doctrine” which makes the owner of a vehicle (or the “dangerous instrument” in this case) responsible for any negligent use by any driver. This means that yes, if you allow your sister, friend, or someone else, to borrow your vehicle and they get into an accident, you are liable for damages.
When Am I Not Liable?
There are a few scenarios where you are not liable if someone else gets into an accident with your car. If someone steals your car and gets into an accident, you are obviously not liable since you did not give permission to the driver. However, if you do let someone borrow your car and they get in accident, you may not always be liable either. If the permissible driver is using your car and gets rear-ended or into an accident at the fault of another driver, the other driver is responsible for the accident and any repairs or injuries that may have been sustained due to the accident.
If I Let Someone Borrow My Car Are They Insured?
A good rule to remember is that car insurance follows the car, but ultimately, what is covered by insurance will depend on the insurer and policy of all drivers involved. While some drivers will have insurance that covers themselves and other drivers, this will not be the case for everyone. Contact your insurance provider and check what your policy covers if you are unsure.
When You Should Allow Someone to Drive Your Car
While letting another person drive your car comes with certain responsibilities, there are obvious times when letting someone drive your car is encouraged. If you are intoxicated or under the influence of any sort of substance, letting a responsible, sober person drive is always a must. While accidents do happen, it is never permissible to drive drunk.
Should I Contact a Lawyer?
If you let someone borrow your vehicle and they get into an accident, you could be left fronting the bills for car repairs, medical costs, lost wages, and more. As always, your best bet is to contact the legal professionals at the Khonsari Law Group right away. At the Khonsari Law Group, our attorneys are skilled in handling liability cases and will fight for your case. Contact the Khonsari Law Group today for a free consultation.