Owning a car comes with many risks, as anyone who drives knows. You are liable for that car and anything that happens to it. If the car is involved in an accident, the other driver will be speaking with your insurance company or could make a personal injury claim against you, even if you were not the one operating it at the time of the motor vehicle accident.
So when a friend asks to borrow your car, there are some things you need to take into consideration before you hand over the keys. Learn whether it is worth it or not to say yes to your friend driving your car.
First, consider your friend’s driving record.
Has your friend ever caused a rear-end collision or been ticketed for reckless driving? If so, then you may want to think twice about letting them use the car. They might have a pattern of poor driving behavior and there could be underlying reasons as to why they do not have a car, such as a suspended license or the inability to obtain car insurance coverage. If they do not have a great driving record, you probably do not want to let them borrow your car.
Examine your car insurance policy.
Once you have determined that it may be safe to let your friend use your car, you also need to examine your car insurance policy for any information regarding unnamed drivers. If by chance your friend causes a car accident and is found to be at fault for the incident, it is likely that your insurance will cover the costs–but you could be looking at additional fines. It may be in your best interest to consider adding them as an insured driver on your policy if they will be using your car quite often. This will probably increase the cost of your insurance policy, but it could also save you money if they are in a wreck and you are contacted by an auto accident attorney looking for compensation for their client.
In any case, to cover yourself, you should give your insurance company a phone call to discuss the procedure of adding your friend to the policy. In some instances, your insurance may refuse the claim against the policy if you or an insured driver were not the ones operating your car at the time of a motor vehicle accident.
A personal injury claim can end up increasing your insurance premiums.
If you do let your friend drive your car, just remember that it will increase the chances of your insurance premiums increasing if your friend causes a car accident. The other driver may end up contacting a California car accident lawyer or another personal injury attorney, who will then go after your insurance company to recoup medical costs, bodily injury, and more. If this happens, your insurance company’s legal team will not be fighting for you. They will be looking out for the company and trying to figure out ways to avoid paying out the money if they can, which could leave you open to a personal injury lawsuit that you may be saddled with if your friend causes the wreck, especially if the company denies the claim.
Personal injury claims are not cheap and often ask for damages such as pain and suffering, medical costs, property damage, and others. Not all states place a cap on these economic and non-economic damages, so you yourself may end up hiring an attorney as well to help handle this personal injury lawsuit for you and try to get damages reduced on your end.