If you are in a car accident, the car insurance company of either you or the other driver should cover damages. But what happens if someone else is driving your car and they get into an accident? The answer depends on how the accident happened.
Who Is Liable If Someone Else Wrecks My Car?
In most cases, your car insurance coverage applies to your vehicle more than you as a driver. So, the regular rules of liability usually apply. Under Georgia Code § 51-1-6, the person who causes a car accident is legally liable for all damages, including injury costs and property damage.
If someone else is driving your car and another person causes the accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance is usually responsible for covering costs. On the other hand, if the driver of your car is at fault, your car insurance will usually cover damages. However, there are some exceptions to this. If you’re unsure how your specific coverage works, contact your auto insurance carrier.
What if the Person Driving My Car Has Auto Insurance Too?
If the person driving your car has their own auto insurance policy, their coverage may act as a secondary insurance to yours. However, it’s an auto insurance myth that a non-owner driver is fully responsible. Your own auto insurance would still be considered the primary coverage.
For example, say another person driving your car causes a car accident. Since they were at fault in your car, your insurance is responsible for the damages. But your policy only covers the damages up to a certain dollar amount. If the costs of the accident are more than your policy limit, then the insurance of the person driving your car may cover what’s left.
What if My Car Insurance Refuses to Pay for an Accident?
There are a few situations where your insurance may refuse to pay for damages if someone else was driving your car:
- Someone takes your car without your permission.
- The person driving your car has been excluded from your insurance policy.
- The driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol or doesn’t have a valid license.
It’s very hard to prove whether or not someone had permission to drive your car. If you can’t prove you didn’t give permission and an accident happened, you might get stuck paying for damages.
You might also specifically leave someone off your insurance policy if they have a bad driving record and you know it will increase your premiums. If you then let that person drive your car and it leads to an accident, your insurance will not have to pay those damages.
Lastly, you will probably be liable for damages if the person driving your car is doing something illegal. Driving under the influence or not having a valid driver’s license are big examples of this.
What Should I Do After Someone Else Crashes My Car?
After a car accident happens in your car, even if it didn’t involve you, it’s important to act quickly. You will have two years from the date of the accident to seek damages after a personal injury accident, and that time can go quickly.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer
The best first step is to contact a car accident lawyer. Since every car accident is different, you might need legal counsel based on your situation.
If the accident was not the fault of the person driving your car, an experienced attorney can make sure you seek compensation for damages. Even if you weren’t physically in the car during the accident, the at-fault driver should be held responsible for damages. The person driving your car may have injuries, and there is likely property damage to your vehicle.
Insurance companies will look for ways to pay out less than the accident costs are worth. A car accident lawyer can help protect your rights and fight for the recovery you deserve.
Understand Your Coverage
You should also make sure you understand the rules of your insurance policy and what it covers. Your attorney can look into this for you, as well.
Document the Accident
Make sure you or the driver calls the police right after the accident happens. Not only is this a legal requirement, but it will also create a record of the accident for your insurance claim.
If you were in the car accident, take notes and pictures. Photograph the accident scene, injuries, and property damage. If you were not in the accident, make sure the driver of your vehicle documents these things. You can also speak with any witnesses about what they saw and get their names and contact information.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer for Free
No matter who was driving your car during the accident, you may be entitled to compensation if you were not at fault. At John Foy & Associates, we can help you pursue the money needed to cover your damages. With over 20 years of experience helping car accident victims, we know what it takes to win a case. Contact us today for a FREE consultation to discuss the details. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us here now.