What Happens If a Friend Crashes Your Car & What You Should Do
If you were a passenger and allowed your friend to drive your car, it is natural to wonder what happens if a friend crashes your car in Connecticut, and if you are personally liable. In this situation, people often wonder whether they can make a bodily injury insurance claim and whether their liability coverage will protect them from being held personally liable.
The car accident lawyers at the Carter Mario Law Firm have been litigating insurance coverage issues arising from car accidents for over 30 years and can advise you of your legal options following a car crash.
Injury Claims Aren’t Personal: They’re about Protecting You and Your Health
When a friend crashes your car, it’s important to understand any injury claims resulting from the accident, including yours, are not personal attacks on your friendship. Instead, they are about protecting you and your health. If your friend crashed your car and hurt you and someone else, taking the necessary steps to ensure you receive sufficient compensation for your medical bills and repair costs is crucial. Additionally, you should retain a personal injury lawyer who can help you build a strong case against the negligent driver.
When Insurance Covers Damages Caused by a Friend or Family Member
If you are a car owner and a family member or friend crashes your car, you may wonder if your car insurance will cover the damages. Under Connecticut law, your insurance must provide liability coverage if a family member was driving your car and caused an accident under the family car doctrine. If your friend was driving your car, your insurance will provide primary coverage as Connecticut law presumes you gave the driver permission to use your vehicle.
When Insurance Won’t Cover an Accident Caused by a Friend
There are two instances in which your insurance company is not obligated to provide insurance coverage following a car crash. While Connecticut law presumes the driver of a vehicle has permission from the car owner to use the car, this presumption can be defeated if the insurance company proves the vehicle owner did provide their consent which means the insurance company is not obligated to provide coverage under a non-permissive use defense. Additionally, your auto insurance company is not required to provide insurance coverage if your friend is listed as an excluded driver on your auto insurance policy.
What You Should Do After a Friend Crashes Your Car
If you are a passenger in your vehicle and your friend strikes someone else’s car, you should ensure the safety of all parties involved by moving to a safe location and calling the police. It is also important to gather relevant information such as the other driver’s contact details, collision coverage policy, and a copy of their driver’s license. You should also identify potential witnesses, photograph the other person’s vehicle, and promptly notify your car insurance provider to report the incident.
Can Someone Sue You for a Friend’s Collision in Your Vehicle?
If your friend caused a serious accident while driving your own vehicle, you may be concerned about potential legal repercussions and whether the other driver can sue you for the collision. As a general rule, yes, you can be sued as the vehicle’s owner. Specifically, the other driver can sue you under a theory of negligent entrustment and obtain financial compensation from your collision insurance policy.
Talk with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
You need strong legal representation if you were injured in a car accident in which your friend was driving your car. You may be entitled to financial compensation from your own auto insurance policy or your friend’s liability insurance policy. Contact the Carter Mario Law Firm today for a free consultation.
Summary of What to Do if a Friend or Family Member Crashes Your Car
If your friend or family member caused a car accident which resulted in you and the other driver suffering injuries, you may be entitled to compensation from your own insurance policy or the other driver’s car insurance policy for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Your car insurance company may not be obligated to provide coverage depending on the language of your insurance policy and whether your friend had your permission to drive the vehicle. Due to these complex legal issues, representation by a personal injury lawyer is essential.