Someone Else Was Driving My Car and Got in an Accident, Now What?
If someone else was driving your vehicle and got into an accident, the liability for the resulting damages would depend on which party caused the crash and the individual driving your vehicle. It would likewise depend on your auto insurance coverage’s terms and conditions. But the liability for the crash would be different if, for instance, someone stole your vehicle than if permitted someone to drive your vehicle.
Your Auto Insurance Follows Your Vehicle
If you allow someone to drive your vehicle and they get into a crash, your PIP (personal injury protection) insurance coverage will cover the damages if they caused the crash. But if the cost of the damages exceeds your PIP coverage, the driver’s personal insurance coverage must cover the difference.
If the individual that you permitted to drive your vehicle gets into a crash because of another driver’s negligence, the other driver would be held liable for the damages. This means that you won’t have to pay the deductible and face higher insurance premiums in the future, which are common consequences of filing claims against your insurance coverage.
Besides covering an individual that you allow to drive your vehicle, your PIP coverage also extends to the following individuals:
- Passengers in your vehicle
- Family members that are living with you
- Pedestrians or bicyclists that you hit while driving your vehicle
It’s also important to note that Florida follows the dangerous instrumentality doctrine, which states that a motor vehicle owner can be held legally responsible for damages and injuries to another individual when the person the owner loans the vehicle to gets into an accident. If a vehicle is jointly owned, both owners will be held liable for damages if someone, with their permission, drives the vehicle and injures another person in a crash.
Exceptions to The “Insurance Follows The Vehicle” Rule
While insurance coverage usually follows the vehicle, this rule may not apply in the following situations:
- If your vehicle was stolen and the driver got into a crash, you will not be responsible for the injuries and damages to the other party and their car. But your insurance coverage will cover any damage to your vehicle.
- Your insurance provider will most likely refuse to cover any damages if the person that drove your vehicle is not covered under your insurance policy.
- Your insurance provider must cover the injuries and damages in a crash if the driver that caused the crash does not have insurance coverage.
- If another person drives your vehicle without your permission or knowledge, their insurance coverage must cover the damages. Your insurance coverage will be triggered, however, if the driver’s coverage isn’t enough to cover all the damages.
If any of these situations apply to your case, it is crucial that you discuss your case with a Florida car accident attorney right away.
Seek Legal Guidance From an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney
To explore your legal options and rights after an accident involving another driver in your vehicle, get in touch with Tragos, Sartes & Tragos right away. Call 727-441-9030 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with our Florida car accident attorney.