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Lending a car to a driver who causes an accident

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

People lend friends and relatives their cars all the time. Faith and trust in the other person guide the car owner to hand over the keys without much concern. Unfortunately, every driver can make a mistake, and errors while operating a vehicle may lead to an Illinois accident. Any accidents resulting in bodily injury and property damage usually mean insurance claims or lawsuits. The driver may be held liable, but what happens to the car’s owner?

The car owner and third-party accidents

Circumstances may dictate whether the owner shares any responsibility for an accident. If someone borrows the car without permission or a car thief drives the vehicle away, the owner might not be responsible for any harm caused. However, when the owner gives permission that allows another person to drive, the owner might have to rely on his or her insurance policy to cover losses.

Now, if the driver commits a moving violation, the owner might not be responsible for the accident. However, someone could still sue the owner as a party to the accident. The owner’s insurance policy may cover a liability claim. Or, if the owner is not liable at all, the insurance policy may still cover damage to the vehicle.

The owner’s insurance policy may cover the driver. If not, the driver’s policy could provide liability coverage.

Issues of concern with insurance coverage and accidents

An owner who gives an intoxicated driver permission to borrow a car would likely face a liability claim for any resulting motor vehicle crash. If the driver causes a terrible collision that results in people’s death, the driver and owner could face a lawsuit that goes far above coverage limits.

Anyone with questions or concerns about what an insurance policy covers may benefit from directing questions to the provider. An insurance company representative may explain the terms and conditions of the document.