What Are the Legal Risks of Letting Someone Borrow Your Car?

Published on Oct 1, 2020 at 2:29 pm in Car Accidents.

driver's hands on steering wheel

When a friend or family member needs to borrow your car, you might let them take it without thinking twice about it. You most likely trust their driving skills and think they’ll be just as careful driving your car as you would be, if not more so since it’s not their vehicle. But what if they get into an accident while they are borrowing your car? What are the legal risks involved with that, and should you have thought about those risks before letting them borrow your car?

Our experienced car accident lawyers at Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC understand that car wrecks are often more complicated than they seem, which is why our office is best equipped at handling your case where you let someone borrow your car. With our help, you’ll be able to recover the compensation you’re owed for the damage done to your property.

Who Is Liable If They Crash Your Car?

After you loan someone your car and they get into an accident, you might be wondering who is liable in this situation. When your friend or family member was at fault for an auto wreck while driving your car, the first aspect of legality will rely on whether or not they were driving your car with your permission. If the driver had permission, then the situation will not be as complicated as it could be. If they didn’t have your permission, then many other legal factors come into play.

If the driver you let borrow your car is the one who caused the accident, then they would still be liable even though they are in your car. When police arrive on the scene, although they will likely ask for your car’s registration, they will also document who was driving the car.

If another driver was at fault for the accident, and your friend or family member who borrowed your car was not at fault in any way, then the at-fault driver’s insurance is responsible for the damages done to your car and any injuries that your friend sustained.

Since it is your car that they are driving, your insurance claim could get complicated because they are more than likely not on your insurance policy to driver your car. Your policy specifically covers your car in the event of an accident, so let’s take a look at what would that look like in terms of a claim for property damage or personal injury from the accident.

Where Does Your Insurance Come In?

Although you might think you’re doing a nice thing by loaning your car to a friend or family member not on your insurance, you might want to think about all the possibilities if they get into an accident. Would you be able to handle the financial consequences if they caused an accident in your car? If not, you might want to say no when they ask to borrow your car.

As a rule, your insurance coverage covers your car, so when you allow your friend to drive your car, then your insurance would likely cover damage done in a car accident that they caused. Even though your friend’s insurance might be used to cover some injuries or damages eventually, your policy for your vehicle will be used as the primary coverage for the accident—meaning damages done to your vehicle as well as the other person’s vehicle and any injuries that were caused.

In Mississippi, your car insurance at minimum covers $25,000 per person per accident for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for property damage. If the accident caused injuries and property damage that exceeds these amounts, then your friend’s insurance will likely be used to cover the rest of the costs. However, if they don’t have insurance, you might be stuck with the additional costs, which is why it’s important to think it through before allowing a friend to borrow your car.

Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC Can Offer You Legal Support

When a friend crashes your car while they were borrowing it, you could feel hesitant to file a claim against them because they’re your friend. However, you trusted them not to damage your car. At Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, we know that this isn’t an easy decision, and our car accident lawyers are here to answer all of your questions and support you through your claim.

Reach out to our office in Jackson, MS, today so we can discuss your potential claim get started on getting you compensation as soon as possible.

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