Car accidents can happen when you least expect them, and they can be especially complicated when it involves someone else driving your vehicle. If another driver is behind the wheel of your car during a collision, you might be wondering about your legal rights and responsibilities. At Swenson Law Group, we’re here to provide you with essential information on what to do in this situation.

1. Insurance Coverage

In the event of a car accident, the primary factor that comes into play is insurance. When someone else is driving your car and is involved in a collision, your insurance policy is generally the first line of defense. Here’s how it typically works:

  • Your Insurance: Your own auto insurance policy is the primary coverage for your vehicle. If the driver has your permission to use your car, your insurance may cover the damages, injuries, and liability associated with the accident. This is often referred to as “permissive use.”
  • Driver’s Insurance: The driver’s own insurance policy can also come into play. If they have insurance, their policy may provide additional coverage or be used if your policy’s limits are exceeded.

2. Notification

It’s important to promptly notify your insurance company about the accident. Even if you weren’t driving, it’s crucial to report the incident to your insurer. Delaying this notification may affect the processing of your claim.

3. Liability

Liability in accidents involving another driver operating your car can be a complex issue. The determination of liability will depend on various factors, such as the circumstances of the accident, the driver’s actions, and applicable state laws.

  • Permissive Use: If you explicitly gave the driver permission to use your vehicle and they were not engaged in any illegal or unauthorized activities, your insurance should generally cover the damages and liabilities.
  • Non-Permissive Use: If the driver did not have your permission to use your vehicle or was engaged in illegal activities, your insurance may not cover the accident.

4. Policy Exclusions

It’s essential to be aware of any policy exclusions that may affect your coverage. Some insurance policies may have specific exclusions related to who can drive your vehicle, so review your policy carefully.

5. Legal Recourse

If the accident leads to injuries or disputes about liability, legal action may be necessary. This could involve pursuing a claim against the driver, your insurance company, or the other party involved in the collision.

6. Documentation

Collecting as much information as possible after the accident is crucial. This includes gathering details about the accident, taking photographs, obtaining the contact information of all parties involved, and gathering witness statements. Documentation can be valuable in the claims process and any potential legal proceedings.

7. Consult an Attorney

If you are unsure about your rights and responsibilities in a car accident involving another driver and your vehicle, it’s wise to consult with an attorney who specializes in personal injury and insurance matters. An attorney can provide guidance, protect your interests, and help navigate the complexities of your specific case.

At Swenson Law Group, our experienced attorneys are well-versed in handling car accident cases and can provide the legal support you need. If you find yourself in a situation where another driver has crashed your car, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a consultation. We can help you understand your legal options and work towards a fair resolution of the matter.