If you get into an accident with a driver who borrowed a car from someone else, you may wonder how to file a claim with the insurance company, and you also do not know which person’s policy to do it. Contact a Rockford car accident attorney who will be able to determine the cause of the accident and help you recover compensation for medical bills and damages associated with the crash.
Who is liable for an accident involving a borrowed vehicle?
Liability insurance does not follow the driver but the car unless the damage exceeds the policy limits. Suppose the primary insurance that covers the vehicle is not enough to cover your injuries and damages. In that case, you can file your claim through the driver’s insurance called secondary insurance.
For example, if you are involved in an accident involving a borrowed vehicle with a $20,000 liability insurance policy and the one behind the steering wheel has their own liability coverage of $25,000. Your claim will be filed with the primary insurance, which is $20,000 until that limit is exhausted. If the injuries are beyond the primary insurance limits, you can still file a claim with the driver’s liability coverage.
The most important question about borrowed vehicle accidents is who has the authorization to drive, which helps to determine liability. It includes family members like spouses, parents, or children. But, if the person borrowing the vehicle is not listed on the insurance policy, the claim will be denied since the driver is not covered. You can file the claim through their policy if the person has liability insurance.
If the vehicle was driven by someone who did not have permission to drive at the time of the crash, then the owner and their insurance will not be liable for any injuries caused by the driver. This generally happens with stolen cars.
Negligent entrustment laws
You need to understand that when you let someone drive your car. You do so because you trust the person to drive responsibly. However, everything does not go as it is planned. That is why laws are present for the people who are not fit and competent to drive or borrow a vehicle. All these laws are known as negligent entrustment laws. To file a claim against the negligent owner, you must prove the following:
- The vehicle belongs to someone who let an incompetent driver drive it.
- The driver who borrowed the car is unqualified and unfit to drive the vehicle safely
- The person knew that the driver was entrusted and incapable.
- The incompetent driver was the one who caused the accident that resulted in damages and injuries.