If you got into a car accident with someone else’s car, the vehicle owner’s insurance company should cover damages from the crash. However, do not assume the vehicle owner’s auto insurer will pay for all of the costs. You and the vehicle owner may be on the hook for paying some of the damages, especially if you caused the accident.
Relationship to Vehicle Owner
As long as you had permission from the vehicle owner to drive the car, the relationship should not matter. But, it all depends on the vehicle owner’s insurance policy. With some policies, family members, such as teenagers or adult children, are already covered. In these instances, the vehicle owner may have family members listed as drivers on the policy.
Friends can also drive the car with the vehicle owner’s permission. If you drive the car on a regular basis, talk with the vehicle owner about adding you to the insurance policy.
Car Accident Injuries
Motor vehicle accidents with bodily injuries add another layer to an already complicated situation. If you caused the accident, the vehicle owner’s auto insurer would pay damages for injuries to the other party, up to the vehicle owner’s liability insurance limits.
Tennessee legally requires all vehicle owners to carry a liability minimum of the following:
- $25,000 for one injury or death per accident
- $50,000 for all injuries or fatalities per accident
- $15,000 for property damage per accident
If you have auto insurance, your policy may be considered as secondary coverage if the accident costs exceed the limits of the vehicle owner’s policy. The vehicle owner’s insurance company may seek reimbursement for some of the expenses from your auto insurer.
Tennessee is a “fault state” in regard to car accidents. So, if you got into a car accident with someone else’s car, you can also be held liable for damages. You should also notify your insurance company about the crash. You may want to speak with a car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC about liability you may face in this accident.
Reasons the Vehicle Owner’s Insurer Might Not Compensate the Victim
The answer to this question is not clear-cut because it depends on the terms of the vehicle owner’s insurance policy, and whether the owner violated the policy by having you drive the car, or not listing you as a regular driver.
For instance, you and the vehicle owner may have to pay for some accident costs:
- If you did not have a valid driver’s license and the vehicle owner knew it but allowed you to drive anyway.
- If a police report says you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
- The vehicle owner claimed that you did not have permission to drive the car.
The vehicle owner’s auto insurer will investigate the circumstances of the accident before deciding whether to pay some—or decline to pay any—damages. Additionally, the injured party can file a lawsuit against you and the vehicle owner for any costs that were not paid by auto insurance companies.
Damage to the Vehicle Owner’s Car
The vehicle owner can use collision coverage to repair the car. Tennessee does not mandate vehicle owners have collision coverage. However, this optional coverage comes in handy when a vehicle owner’s car gets wrecked in an auto accident caused by the vehicle owner.
With this coverage, the insurance company can repair or replace the vehicle, after the owner pays a deductible. If the vehicle owner does not have collision coverage, the owner may go after you for repair or replacement costs.
Proving You Didn’t Cause the Accident
Merely saying you did not cause the accident is not enough. You will need evidence that proves you did not create the crash. What you can expect from your car accident lawyer is to gather evidence that proves your innocence.
Evidence our law firm is experienced in gathering:
- Police reports
- Video surveillance footage of the accident
- Eyewitness statements
Contact the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC Today About Your Car Accident
If you have questions about the potential liability you face if you had an accident while driving someone else’s car, or if someone else drove your car and had an accident, call our law firm at today at 865-546-1111 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our car accident attorneys.