Car Accident Law Firm in Illinois
The Legal Issues Around a Friend or Relative Injured in an Accident While Using Your Car
Many of us do not think twice about letting a friend or relative borrow our car to run a quick errand. After all, your insurance policy should cover them if they are involved in an accident, right? As with most insurance questions, the answer is, “It depends.” Whether drivers who are not listed on your insurance policy are covered depends on the fine print of your insurance plan.
Your insurance policy may name other drivers who are likely to use your vehicle. Or, it may simply state that household members are covered. Generally, household members are individuals related to the policyholder by blood, marriage, or adoption.
Many insurance plans do provide coverage for permissive drivers, but the coverage may be limited. Before you allow anyone else to drive your car, you should speak with your insurance agent about whether that individual is covered.
There are a couple of scenarios where permissive drivers are probably excluded from insurance coverage. The first of these is if the driver is using the car for business-related matters. For example, say that your friend’s car is in the shop and he has a work conference he needs to attend. He asks to borrow your car to attend the conference. Before you allow him to leave with your car, you should make sure that business use is covered by your policy.
Further, if you allow an inexperienced or unlicensed driver to use your car, your insurance policy may deny coverage if that driver causes an accident. You should always make sure that any driver who uses your car has a valid license.
If your insurance company denies coverage, you could be on the hook for all of the damages that result from an accident. Damages in a motor vehicle accident often include:
- Medical bills, including the cost of any future medical care
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- In the event of a death, funeral and burial expenses and the deceased’s anticipated income may also be sought
Depending on the severity of the accident, the damages in a crash could reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.
What if someone took your car without permission? First, if the car was stolen, you will probably not be liable for any damages that result from a crash. However, a friend or family member took your car without permission and caused an accident, your insurance will probably still provide coverage. This likely means you will have higher premiums to pay in the future.
If you find yourself facing this unfortunate scenario, it is best to consult with an experienced automobile accident attorney as soon as possible.
If Someone Was Injured in an Accident While Driving Your Car, Contact Chicago Accident Law Firm Stein & Shulman, LLC Today!
At Stein & Shulman, our accident attorneys are well versed in insurance law matters. To schedule your free consultation with our firm, call 312.422.0500 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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If you or a loved one have suffered an injury, contact us today for your free consultation with an experience Chicago Car Wreck Injury lawyer at 312.422.0500 or by filling out a free contact form online. Our legal expertise comes at no cost to you, unless we win or settle your car accident case.