We’ve all been in a situation where we didn’t have access to our car. Maybe that long-overdue oil change you finally did turned into a major repair you weren’t prepared for (take this as your friendly neighborhood lawyers reminding you to change the oil in your car!). Whatever the reason, borrowing a friend or family member’s car is a common occurrence. It’s so normal in fact, you may think nothing of it. That is until you get rear-ended in said borrowed car, and the fender is completely smashed in. Then you might be questioning if it was a good idea to borrow someone else’s car and, more importantly, who is responsible for paying for damages in the accident?
If you’re reading this, we’ll go ahead and assume you either borrowed a car that then got in an accident or you’re the person who lent your car only to get the call that there might be a little…issue with it now. At Hammack Law Firm, we are committed to being straightforward with you about what South Carolina law says about your case and how we can help. So, to get a breakdown of everything you need to know about borrowed car accidents, keep reading!
Who Does the Insurance Policy Cover in a Borrowed Car Accident?
After paying for your car insurance month after month, you would hope that in the time of an accident, everything is covered, right? While South Carolina law requires every licensed driver to purchase a minimum insurance that covers bodily injury, uninsured motorist incidents, and property damage, does this also cover an accident that involved your car when you weren’t the driver? The answer is the ambiguous one you probably don’t want to hear—sometimes. In a borrowed car accident, your auto insurance may pay out damages. Typically, insurance follows the car, regardless of who may be driving when an accident occurs. While every policy can look different, most will cover:
- Anyone in your household who has a valid driver’s license
- Any driver whom you allowed to borrow your car
- BUT will not cover: drivers you specifically excluded from driving your car or auto theft incidents
If your insurance company covers the person who borrowed your car, the company will pay for damages if they were at fault for the accident. This payment will be up to the limits of your insurance policy. However, if the damages are more than the policy limits, the person who borrowed your car may have to pay for the rest.
For a free legal consultation, call 864-740-8653
What to Do if Your Car Was Involved in an Accident While Borrowed
If someone borrowed your car and got into an accident, it’s important to take the following steps:
- Check on the Borrower: Ensure the borrower’s well-being. Confirm their safety and offer assistance if needed.
- File a Police Report: Like a superhero’s trusty sidekick, a police report is your key to documenting the accident’s details. This official documentation will provide crucial information for insurance claims and any future legal proceedings.
- Notify Your Insurance Company: Your insurance company isn’t the neighborhood gossip—they need to be in the loop about this incident. Inform them promptly about the accident, mentioning that your car was involved while under someone else’s control. They’ll review your policy and guide you through the claims process.
- Consider Legal Counsel: Navigating the legal labyrinth of borrowed car accidents can be as daunting as deciphering ancient hieroglyphics. That’s where our experienced lawyers come in. Our auto accident attorneys at Hammack Law Firm can translate the legal jargon, protect your rights, and ensure the best possible outcome, saving you the stress of doing it all on your own.
Important Note: If you lent your vehicle to the at-fault driver, you may be named in a lawsuit. Granting permission to use your car could make you legally liable for negligence, especially if the driver had a history of risky driving behaviors. An experienced lawyer can protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome.
Need Help With Your Claim? Contact Our Greenville Car Accident Lawyers Today!
Whether you were involved in a car accident or your car was while someone else was driving, knowing your rights can be the difference between paying out of pocket to cover the damages or getting compensated by the at-fault party’s insurance. Our experienced lawyers at Hammack Law Firm are here to ensure you don’t get tricked by an insurance company and lose out on the payment you are owed! Let us carry the burden of building your claim so you can focus on the more important things like your health or the health of those you love who were injured.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation by calling (864) 428-7591 or filling out our online form.