If you are involved in an accident in which the other driver is at fault, you would usually file a car accident claim against the driver. However, insurance policies follow the car, not the driver. If the car is being borrowed by someone who is not the owner of the car, your car accident case might be more complicated.
Permission to Drive the Car
The owner of the car will only be responsible for the accident if they gave permission. This can be tricky because while direct permission is the most common form of permission given, there is also implied permission. Therefore, determining whether the driver had permission can affect your case and may require an investigation by an auto accident lawyer. The owner of the car may try to prove that the car was actually stolen.
You will usually want the owner of the car to be liable because the car will carry insurance. Otherwise, the individual who stole the car will not be carrying insurance and may not have the assets necessary to file a successful lawsuit.
The owner of the car can be considered fully liable if they allow someone to drive the vehicle who is not allowed to do so. For example, you are not allowed to give your car to someone who is clearly under the influence of alcohol.
How to Fight for Your Right to Compensation
In a complicated case such as a car accident case where a car is borrowed, the insurance provider will do everything they can to not be held responsible for the accident. If your claim is denied, you will still be able to fight for your right to a settlement with the help of an experienced auto accident attorney.
You will need to provide evidence that the owner of the car is liable for damages done to your vehicle and any injuries you have suffered. If the insurance provider refuses to compensate you for the damages you have suffered, your attorney might advise you to take the insurance provider to court.
Going to court is the last step you would want to take because of how expensive a lawsuit can be. However, many insurance providers will choose to settle at the last minute to save money. Even if your case does go to trial, if you win the case, you might also be compensated for attorney fees and receive punitive damages. Reach out to a law firm like Bangel, Bangel & Bangel for more information.