Who’s Liable if a Friend Wrecked My Car?
When you get involved in a car accident with your own vehicle, issues on liability and who’s at fault can be pretty straightforward. However, there are cases when individuals get involved in car accidents while driving vehicles that are not their own. In such cases, it can be slightly confusing to know who to blame in the situation.
Who’s going to cover the accident financially? Who can be held liable for negligence? If your friend wrecks your car, are they covered by your insurance, or should they have their own?
Who Will Be Held Liable When Your Friend Wrecks Your Car?
If your friend wrecks your car, various scenarios can come into play when it comes to insurance. You can both be insured, only one is insured, or none is insured. Depending on which case you fall under, the issues on liability and insurance coverage might change.
However, in almost all cases, you can both be sued if your friend drives your car and causes an accident. This is because Michigan’s liability law considers owners responsible for the damages caused by their vehicles. Additionally, the person driving the car can also be sued for negligence since they technically caused the accident.
More often than not, your own auto insurance will take care of hiring your lawyer, defending your lawsuit, and paying the legal costs and expenses of defending you under a lawsuit complaint.
Insurance Coverage if Your Friend Gets Involved in an Accident Using Your Car
As mentioned, liability and insurance coverage might change depending on which category your situation falls under— whether you’re both insured, only one of you is insured, or if none of you are insured. Here are the details that you should know about each scenario:
- Both the driver and the vehicle owner are insured
If both the driver involved in the accident and the car owner are covered, then their own insurance companies will represent and defend them in the lawsuit. This is the most ideal scenario, as both will have balanced representation that will cater to their own interests.
- The vehicle owner is insured, but the driver is uninsured
If this happens, the car owner’s insurance should take care of the driver’s defense. However, it should be noted that while the car owner’s insurance has to defend the driver, it doesn’t mean that ta car owner can get away from the accident scot-free. There is still a financial risk for you, especially if the lawsuit goes to trial and gets a verdict not in your favor.
Take note that insurance policies have their own financial limits, and since you are the car owner, you will be shouldering the rest of the financial burden as soon as you eat up your insurance policy limit. For that reason, make sure that you get an insurance policy that has a limit as high as possible, as long as you can afford it. It will be incredibly expensive to shoulder the rest of the damages in vehicular accidents, especially if the damages and injuries are worth more than what you have in your policy.
- Both the driver and car owner are uninsured
This is the worst-case scenario. Take note that the new Michigan No-Fault insurance law required car owners to have at least a minimum of 50,000 USD insurance policy. If you are a car owner in Michigan without your own insurance policy, this could be an aggravating circumstance for you. In this case, instead of the insurance policy defending you and taking the lead on the case, the victims can sue you directly and make you financially responsible for all the damages caused.
It is important to remember that in Michigan, your car insurance policy will cover anyone who is driving your vehicle with your consent. Michigan can also look at how frequently you lend your vehicle to someone, and look at it as constructive ownership. It is, therefore, necessary that you choose the person you entrust your car with care.
Under the Michigan No-Fault insurance law, people involved in accidents will need their own insurance policy to cover for them. That means that you need to select the best insurance policy you could afford. While 50,000 USD is the minimum amount of insurance required, it is advisable to have a 250,000 USD insurance policy to cover for you.
Why You Need to Select The Best Representation for Auto Accident Issues in Michigan
There’s no denying that auto accidents are costly, and you can be financially at risk when your car gets involved in such accidents. If you want to have your best chance of getting a favorable verdict, then it is necessary to choose a law practice that has years of experience in the field.
The Clark Law Office is one of the premier legal practices in Michigan, and it boasts of years of experience in the field of law and auto insurance. Get quality representation for your auto accidents now when you call The Clark Law Office at +1 (517) 347-6900.