What happens next if a friend or member of your family smashes your automobile in Georgia? Who is accountable? Will the damage be covered by your insurance? Be at ease. You won’t typically be left holding the bag. Continue reading to find out your choices if someone other than you wrecks your car.
Whose Insurance Applies If My Car Is Involved in an Accident?
The answer to this question depends on who was at fault for the accident and on the language of the governing insurance policies. If the person driving your car caused the accident, they would be liable for the resulting damage. Because most insurance coverage follows the insured vehicle and not the named policyholder, your insurance policy will likely cover their collision.
However, if the driver in someone else’s car caused the accident, that person will be liable for any resulting injuries and property damage. Again, because most insurance policies follow the vehicle and not the policyholder, the other car owner’s insurance may cover damages from the accident.
That said, insurance policies are diverse. These documents can be quite complex and should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Among other variations, the terms of your policy might preclude coverage if the driver:
- Did not have permission to use your vehicle
- Was explicitly excluded from your insurance policy
- Did not have a valid driver’s license
- Was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Used your car for a commercial activity
The personal injury attorneys at Butler Kahn can help you understand your rights and obligations under your insurance policy. Call us today for a free consultation.
Whether the other driver had permission to use my car is important.
Yes, it matters if the other driver got permission to use your vehicle. In the event of an accident, your insurance will normally protect the other driver if you grant them permission to use your vehicle.
According to the “permissive usage” theory, the owner of a vehicle is responsible for any harm caused by someone else operating it with their express or inferred approval. For instance, you might need to ask your friend express permission if you want them to use your car to go to the grocery store just once. In contrast, implied consent might be indicated if the friend frequently uses your car for errands while you are aware of it.
Your insurance policy will serve as the primary coverage if you authorize someone to drive your car and a collision results. Accordingly, it will cover damages up to the policy’s maximum. It might serve as supplemental insurance if the motorist has their own insurance policy. This means that their policy may cover the remaining costs if the damage exceeds your own policy’s coverage limit.
Everything is different, though, if the motorist uses your car without your consent. In this case, the motorist will be entirely responsible for any harm they create. Your own policy’s uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage may help you get reimbursed for the damage to your car if the at-fault driver has no insurance.
When another driver causes my car to crash, would my insurance rates increase?
Unfortunately, there is a good likelihood that if another driver crashes your car, your insurance price will go up. Keep in mind that your auto insurance frequently travels with you. Every time an insurer pays out a claim, the price of insuring your car increases in their eyes. Your insurance will therefore pay attention if the person behind the wheel of a vehicle when the accident occurred was at fault. Your insurance company might even increase your rates in specific circumstances, regardless of who was at fault.
What Do I Do If a Different Driver Crashes Your Car?
When you learn that your car was in an accident, fear and anxiety can start to rise. However, there are several fundamental actions you should take right away to reduce additional issues in the future. If your vehicle was involved in someone else’s accident, you might want to consider doing the following:
Inform the police about the collision. Do it yourself if the individual who was driving your car won’t call the cops. To complete an accident report, the dispatcher will send an officer to the scene. This reputable accident report is required for your insurance claim.
Take pictures of the scene as soon as you can to visually capture the accident scenario. Later on, pictures and films will be crucial pieces of proof. Obtain video of the accident’s injuries, vehicle damage, weather, road, and traffic conditions, as well as any other details that may help to paint a clearer picture of what happened. Additionally, while the incident is still recent in their memory, request that the driver of your car write down their memory of the collision.
Obtaining contact details Obtain crucial information from other drivers who were involved in the collision. Names, addresses, phone numbers, car plate numbers, names of their insurance companies, and insurance policy numbers are also included. Additionally, make sure to locate and get the contact details of any witnesses to the accident.
Watch out for insurers Because they are profit-driven organizations, insurance firms always strive to reduce the amount of money they have to pay out in claims. If you’re not careful, they’ll alter your words and exaggerate the truth to make it easier for them to refute your argument. Unfortunately, not even your own insurer is on your side.
Engage legal counsel – Consult a qualified accident attorney right away to discuss your alternatives. They will watch out for your interests and prevent you from being exploited.
A Lawyer for Auto Accidents Can Help
Even worse is when we cause our own accident and total our car. What transpires, though, if another driver totals your car? When faced with this situation, our clients frequently don’t know what to do next. We are here to help them clean up the mess and make sure they are aware of their rights.