Your best friend needs to borrow a vehicle to get to work because their car is in the shop. They’ve asked if they can borrow yours because you are on vacation this week and aren’t using the car. You don’t want to say no because after all, this is your best friend in the world; however, you are fearful of saying yes because anything can happen on the road.
Should You Loan Your Car to A Friend?
A simple yes or no answer isn’t possible for this question. The truth is whether you loan your car or not depends on a few things. The most important factor is legality. Can you legally loan your car to someone else?
When you get car insurance you have created a contract between yourself and your insurance company. You agree to abide by the rules of the road and drive as carefully as possible and they agree to provide you with protection in the case of an accident. Now, your friend didn’t sign the contract with you which is where the question of legality comes into play.
A car accident lawyer in Atlanta can answer the question of legalities for you. Often the question will come down to your insurance coverage and theirs. State laws vary regarding the minimum amount of coverage you must carry to drive your own car much less lend it to someone else.
Many drivers don’t understand the intricacies of the responsibilities associated with owning a car. Instead of remaining in the dark, drivers need to educate themselves about things such as liability and insurance. Understanding how auto insurance works should be a priority for any new driver. (1)
What Happens If The Car You Loaned Is In An Accident?
Everyone understands that the invention of the automobile has had a profound effect on daily life in America. It has transformed our workplaces, altered our neighborhoods, and radically changed our environment. But cars have never been perfectly safe, and, as the years have passed, injuries and fatalities have mounted. (2)
More people on the road equals more inherent danger to being on the road. This means that there are no guarantees your friend won’t be involved in a mishap while driving your car. Who is responsible for damages and medical bills should your friend have an accident in your car? A car accident lawyer Atlanta GA along with your insurance company can help you to understand who bears the responsibility if your car is wrecked by someone else.
Truthfully, this situation isn’t as cut and dried as an accident in which you were driving your own car. Not that those accidents are cut and dried. A lot depends on how much insurance coverage you have as well as how much coverage your friend has. The person at fault also factors into the equation of responsibility—if that was your friend you may end up paying more than you bargained for to settle the claims against your insurance.
Things To Know Before Lending Your Car
Before you lend your car, you should be aware of some factors that could affect the outcome should your vehicle be involved in an accident away from your care.
The laws of your state. Are there specific laws governing who can or cannot operate a private motor vehicle? A car accident lawyer in Atlanta can help you understand the laws regarding the legal operation of a motor vehicle, and how that is affected by insurance laws.
Know your insurance coverage. If the person borrowing your car lives in your home, they might be covered by your policy. That depends on your state and your insurance carrier. Check with your agent to know how your policy is written.
Make sure your policy is current. No one will be covered if your policy has lapsed. Keeping a current insurance policy is a legal requirement in every state. Each one has regulations regarding the minimum amount of coverage residents must provide on their insurance policies.
Why are they using the car? Many private insurance policies will not cover if someone is using the vehicle for commercial practices unless there is special coverage for that usage. Knowing how your friend intends to use the car can save you heartache later should the unforeseen occur.
Do they have a valid driver’s license and their own insurance? These questions are important ones to ask before you lend your car even to your most trusted friend. Should they have an accident without a driver’s license and insurance you could be legally responsible even if they weren’t technically at fault. Consult a car accident lawyer Atlanta GA to be sure of the legal responsibility you face in this case.
Before lending your car to anyone you should know the personal responsibility you carry in the case of an accident both from a legal standpoint and from an insurance perspective.
1. My friend borrowed my car and was involved in a fender bender. Am I responsible, or is he?
There are a few factors that will determine who is responsible in this case. Typically, insurance follows the car rather than following the driver. However, if your friend wasn’t at fault, the other driver in the accident will likely have some responsibility as well. Contact a Morgan & Morgan car accident lawyer in Atlanta to discuss the specifics of your case.
2. My friend doesn’t have a car and therefore doesn’t have car insurance. She does have a valid driver’s license, should I loan her my car?
In this case, perhaps you could add your friend to your policy, so you would be covered as a car owner and she would be covered as a driver. Speak with your insurance agent to learn how you should handle the situation. If they are unsure about the legal issues, you could contact a car accident lawyer Atlanta GA to find out if there is a legal reason this wouldn’t be possible.