After a car accident, the main concerns are who is at fault and who pays for damages. Thankfully, damages usually get covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, what happens if the person driving is not the vehicle owner? Worse yet, what if that person is driving your car?
If the car has valid insurance, it’s usually not important who was driving it. One of the biggest auto insurance myths is that the person driving is always responsible for vehicle damage and more, but the most crucial factor is who caused the car accident. Contact an Atlanta car accident lawyer at John Foy & Associates for more information.
What if the Person Driving My Car Was at Fault?
If the person driving your car was at fault for the accident and there were damages, the other drivers could file an accident claim with your insurance company. Even if you were not in the accident, your insurance will usually cover the damages if your car was involved and you either:
- Gave the driver permission to operate your car.
- The driver was listed on your auto insurance policy.
The person operating your car might wonder if their car insurance applies. While the car insurance policy on your vehicle would apply first, the driver’s collision coverage may act as secondary insurance.
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What Happens if Someone Wrecks Your Car and They Aren’t on Your Insurance?
You may face legal and financial challenges if someone wrecks your car and isn’t on your insurance. Insurance companies typically look to the policyholder’s insurance first for liability coverage when an accident occurs.
If the uninsured driver is not listed on your policy, your liability insurance may not cover the damages caused by the accident. This means you could be held personally responsible for paying for the repairs to your vehicle or any other damages resulting from the accident.
In addition, if the person driving your car is found at fault for the accident, you may face potential legal action. The other party involved in the accident can file a lawsuit against you to seek compensation for their damages, including medical expenses, property damage, and even pain and suffering.
Protecting Yourself From Liability
To protect yourself, it’s important to ensure that anyone driving your car is covered by insurance. This can include adding them as a driver to your policy or ensuring they have insurance coverage.
Having proper insurance in place can help minimize the financial and legal risks associated with someone wrecking your car when they aren’t on your insurance.
What Happens if Another Driver Caused the Accident?
When another driver causes an accident with someone else driving your car, the other driver is liable for damages. You would then have the right to file a claim for damages from their insurance company. When filing, all you would need to do is show that you were less than 50% responsible for your accident.
Are There Exceptions to Liability Coverage When Someone Else Wrecks My Car?
Yes, your auto insurance will refuse to cover an accident in some situations, even if the person driving your car was not at fault. In these instances, it’s best to contact a car accident lawyer quickly to learn more about what legal options you can take.
The Driver Used Your Car Without Your Permission
If someone you know used your car without your permission, they could be liable for any damages they caused. However, you must prove they did not have permission to use your car, which can be challenging.
You Excluded the Driver From Your Insurance Policy
You can intentionally leave certain people off your car insurance if you know they are high-risk or could raise your insurance rates. If someone you excluded from your policy wrecks your car, your insurance will not cover the damage, even if you gave that driver permission to use the car. Be sure to understand your policy limits.
The Driver Was Breaking the Law
If the driver shouldn’t have been driving any car, let alone yours, your auto insurance coverage probably won’t cover the accident damages. This includes situations like driving without a valid license or drinking and driving.
Of course, rules may vary depending on each company, so you should view your insurance company’s policies if you’re unsure. A car accident lawyer can also help you understand how to best approach your situation.
Will Someone Else Crashing My Car Raise My Insurance Rates?
Any car or truck accident on your record, regardless of who was driving, can raise your insurance rates. They are more likely to go up if your car’s driver was at fault for the accident.
The penalties for not-at-fault accident varies depending on your insurance provider, so you will have to view your specific policy to know for sure. However, if you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance, your rates are less likely to increase.
In addition, you can avoid higher rates if you add accident forgiveness to your policy, which some providers offer.
Insurance Companies Won’t Be On Your Side
In general, insurance companies will never side with car accident victims. Insurance companies can be extremely unforgiving and apathetic if someone else caused an accident or you were a victim yourself.
Their sole interest is only to protect themselves and make a profit while doing so. They won’t hesitate to do so if that means raising your rates or denying you compensation. Fighting for a fair settlement alone can be difficult. That’s why you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Remember the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations gives you two years to file your claim in Georgia, regardless of who was driving your car. Don’t delay in building a strong case for your claim fast. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes to get the settlement you rightfully deserve.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer in Georgia for Free
After someone gets into an accident while driving your car, it’s best to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as you can. An experienced lawyer can help you gather evidence and build a strong insurance claim if the other driver is at fault.
At John Foy & Associates, you should not have to pay for the costs someone else caused just because you permitted someone else to drive your vehicle. Over the last 20 years, we’ve grown to become one of Georgia’s largest and most respected personal injury law firms.
Our number one goal is getting you the financial compensation you deserve. To get legal advice and a FREE consultation, contact our accident attorneys now.