If someone else is driving your car and gets into an accident, your liability insurance will usually pay for damages if the person borrowing your vehicle is at fault. However, if another party caused the crash, they may be responsible for the resulting injuries and financial losses.
What Happens if the Person Borrowing Your Car Is Liable?
If you loan your car to another person and they cause an accident, your insurance will usually pay for damages. However, coverage will depend on the terms of your policy and other factors. For example, your insurer may not pay if the person driving:
- Took your vehicle without permission
- Has their own automobile insurance coverage
- Was breaking the law at the time of the crash (i.e., drinking and driving, driving without a license)
- Was under the legal driving age
According to the Office of Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire, Georgia drivers must ensure their vehicles with the following:
- $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
- $25,000 in property damage liability coverage
Drivers can also add optional policies, including collision coverage or uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) protection. If someone else is driving your car and causes an accident, your applicable policies will generally pay for injuries and property damages up to your coverage limits.
If you loaned your care to someone and their negligent or wrongful actions led to a crash, they are legally liable if the person they injured has medical expenses and other damages that exceed your insurance coverage. Those injured can pursue additional awards with a claim or lawsuit against the person driving your car, but, in most cases, they cannot sue you.
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What If Another Party Is At Fault?
If someone else caused the accident, they are financially liable for injuries and property damages. You can recover compensation with an insurance claim or seek awards with a personal injury lawsuit. Every car accident case is different, but, in general, an attorney with our firm can help accident victims pursue the following:
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages, earnings, and benefits
- Lost future earning capacity
- Awards for physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional suffering
- Compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one
How Long Do You Have to Seek Damages?
You should file a claim with your insurance provider or against a liable party’s insurer as soon as possible. First, a delay could give the insurance company a reason to doubt your version of the accident or allege that the injured parties were not actually hurt during the crash. Second, acting quickly allows insurance companies, lawyers, and other involved parties to collect evidence while it is fresh.
Finally, an insurance claim can take a while to work through, and it can become even more complicated when it involves a driver not expressly covered by your policy. You want to leave ample time to negotiate a fair settlement before your window to take legal action closes.
According to O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, you have two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia. If the statute of limitations expires, you may be unable to secure compensation. We can help you get started before it is too late.
Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
If someone else is driving your car and gets into an accident, it may be helpful to consult with a lawyer about your options. An attorney with our firm can review your case and determine your best course of action for seeking financial recovery. From there, we can help you negotiate with your insurance companies, fight for you if insurance denies your coverage, or pursue awards from a liable party. We can:
- Draft and file your insurance claims or lawsuit
- Handle phone calls, emails, and meetings
- Investigate your accident and determine fault
- Collect case evidence, including photographs of your vehicle damages and the accidence scene, surveillance or dashcam video, eyewitness testimony, police reports, and medical records
- Prove your losses using bills, receipts, estimates, and other proof of expenses
- Negotiate for the maximum possible settlement
- Protect your rights if the insurance companies play hardball or use bad-faith tactics
- Represent you at trial if necessary
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Call Kaine Law for a Free Consultation
If you or someone you know suffered injuries or property damages in a motor vehicle accident, Kaine Law can help. We offer free consultations and take cases on contingency. With our no-fee guarantee, we never charge upfront or out-of-pocket, and we only get paid if and when we obtain compensation.
Contact us today to learn more and connect with a Georgia injury attorney near you.