Although there is no such thing as a “routine” car accident, the circumstances are even more complex when a borrowed car is involved. Each party to the car accident may have their own difficult legal issues that can complicate the claim. The Houston-area car collision attorneys at Haun Mena can help if you have suffered an injury in a borrowed car accident.
Lending Out a Car to Someone Else Is Always Risky
When someone lends a car out to someone else, they are assuming a certain risk. After all, the insurance policy follows the vehicle in Texas, regardless of who is driving it. If someone else was driving a car that somebody else owned, and they were involved in an at-fault car accident, the owner’s car insurance will be the one that needs to pay. They will need to be the one who has to pay the deductible and has to pay the higher premiums after an at-fault accident. The vehicle owner can be personally sued, depending on the circumstances.
The owner of a car is liable for any accidents caused by the driver of their car. However, the car owner’s insurance policy may exclude certain drivers. For example, if you choose to let your teenage child borrow your car, they can be subject to a policy exclusion. Then, the car owner may need to pay for the car accident with their own money because the insurance company may refuse to pay the claim.
One way the car owner may not be liable for an accident caused by their vehicle is when someone has used the vehicle without their permission. However, permission can still be implied, even if there is no express permission. Usually, this exception will only apply when the car is stolen.
Reasons Why the Insurance Company May Not Pay a Claim in a Borrowed Car Accident
One reason the insurance company may not pay a claim for a borrowed car accident is when the person driving the car was using it for work. For example, someone might borrow a car to make a delivery or drive for a ride-share company. Then, the driver who is behind the wheel will be legally responsible for the accident damages. If this situation might apply to you, you should still be very hesitant to lend your car to someone for work because there may be a way where you can be liable if nobody else pays the claim.
You Can Get a Settlement When You’ve Been in a Borrowed Car Accident
If you have suffered an injury in an accident with a driver who borrowed someone else’s car, you will have several insurance policies against which you can file a claim. First, you will need to establish that the other driver was responsible for the accident. If you were to blame for the crash, the other driver could file a claim against your insurance, regardless of whether it was their car that was involved in the accident. You will need to prove that the other driver acted unreasonably under the circumstances.
First, you will look to the car owner’s insurance to pay for your accident injuries. That policy will pay up to the coverage limit if the other driver is to blame for the crash.
If the car owner’s coverage was not enough to pay for your injuries, you could file a claim against the driver’s insurance. They will pay the balance of your damages.
In the case of a severe accident, you may still have uncompensated injuries. In that event, you will turn to your underinsured motorist coverage from your own policy to pay the rest of your damages. You can be looking at up to three different policies to pay settlement checks to you.
Suing a Company When the Driver Has Borrowed Someone Else’s Car
Above, we mentioned the scenario in which the driver who borrowed the car was using it for work purposes. In this situation, you can file a claim against their employer’s insurance policy. You may even file a lawsuit against their employer if the driver was acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident. If the borrowing driver was giving rides for Uber, you could file a claim against Uber’s insurance policy.
You Should Always Hire a Lawyer
As you can see, there are some complex legal issues involved when you are involved in an accident with a borrowed car. You may be dealing with multiple insurance companies, and there is a chance that you may even need to sue the car owner personally when the insurance company does not pay the claim. These are complex circumstances for anyone to deal with, let alone someone who is dealing with car accident injuries and is unfamiliar with how insurance companies operate.
You should hire an attorney to help you with any car accident claim, especially when there are complicating factors. An attorney can help you sort out the insurance coverage issue and work with you to determine the correct coverage against which to file your claim.
Contact a Houston Car Accident Attorney Now
When you need a determined and tenacious advocate after a car accident, you should seek out the attorneys at Haun Mena. We will work closely with you to help maximize the size of your settlement check. To schedule your free initial consultation, you can send us a message online or call us today at (713) 874-9216.
Car Accident Case FAQs
What does negligence mean in a car accident?
Negligence means that a driver acted unreasonably under the circumstances. They did not act as an average driver will.
When should I call an attorney after my car accident?
Your right to financial compensation can be jeopardized when you wait to call a lawyer. You should contact an attorney immediately after your crash.