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Am I Liable for the Accident if Someone Borrows My Car?

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Generally speaking, when you let someone borrow your car and they get into a car accident, your auto insurance will cover the resulting damages and losses as long as you carry valid insurance in Florida.

However, your liability for the crash depends on your insurance coverage as some policies do not provide coverage to persons not listed on the policy. While some policies provide partial coverage when someone borrows your vehicle and gets in a car crash, others do not cover those who are not listed on your policy.

For this reason, it is highly advised to contact a knowledgeable auto accident attorney in Florida to have them review your insurance policy and determine your degree of liability for the crash that did not involve you.

Can you be held liable for a car accident if another person borrows your vehicle?

When it comes to determining liability for a car crash that involved someone who had your permission to drive your car, it is important to understand that Florida is a no-fault insurance state.

In other words, when a car accident occurs, you will be bringing a claim with your own insurance company regardless of fault. In at-fault states, on the other hand, you would be required to file a claim against the at-fault motorist’s auto insurance company.

However, when you use your insurance coverage up to policy limits, you may be able to step outside the no-fault system to seek additional compensation through the at-fault party’s auto insurer.

  • Example. If you give your friend permission to drive your car and they get hurt in a car crash caused by the other driver, your auto insurance coverage will cover your friend’s medical expenses and property damage up to policy limits. Once your coverage is exhausted, your friend could recover additional damages by filing a claim against the at-fault motorist’s insurance company or filing a lawsuit against the driver who caused the collision.

However, if your friend was at fault for causing the accident, your insurance policy would still cover their damages and losses. If the other driver’s coverage runs out, they would be able to pursue legal action against your friend to seek additional compensation because your friend is liable for the crash, not you.

What if the person did not have my permission to drive my car?

Many auto insurance policies provide coverage to someone other than the insured motorist when the driver who was involved in the crash had permission to use the insured’s vehicle. If that person did not have your permission to drive the car, chances are they would not be covered under the “permissive use provision.”

Situations where someone who borrowed your automobile would not be covered your auto insurance include:

  • you excluded that person from your policy; or
  • someone stole your vehicle and was involved in a car accident (however, your auto insurance policy would still pay for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle).

Contact a Lakeland auto accident attorney if someone borrows your vehicle and gets into a car crash in Florida. Our lawyer at The Turnbull Firm will help you determine whose insurance policy will cover the damages. Call 863-324-3500 for a consultation.

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