Who is Liable for a Crash Caused by a Motorist Who Was Driving a Borrowed Vehicle?
Lending a vehicle to a friend or loved one on a temporary basis isn’t unusual and in most cases, doesn’t cause a problem for either of the parties. Accidents do occur, however, wherein the person who causes the collision is driving a borrowed vehicle. This can add a layer of complexity to an already confusing and stressful situation, as questions of liability and compensation are often more difficult to resolve in these types of cases, so if you were recently involved in a car crash, in which the at fault motorist was driving a borrowed vehicle, it is important to consult with an experienced Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyer who can help you seek compensation for your losses from the right individual.
Because Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state, accident victims who are involved in collisions are generally required to go through their own insurers to obtain compensation for accident-related losses. If, however, the injuries in question are severe or exceed the limits of a person’s policy, that individual can seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer. Fortunately, even when the person who causes an accident wasn’t driving his or her own vehicle, the injured party can still usually recover compensation from the car’s owner, but only if the owner’s contract contains a permissive use clause.
Recognizing that many people share vehicles, insurers began offering policies that provided coverage to multiple parties, namely other individuals who lived in the same household as the vehicle’s owner. However, coverage is not always limited to family members, as many insurers offer policies with permissive use clauses, under which anyone who is given tacit or overt permission to drive a car by the vehicle’s owner will be covered by the owner’s insurance policy. It is important to note that not all insurers offer this type of coverage, as some will only provide compensation to injured parties if the driver’s name is specifically included on the vehicle owner’s policy.
Exceptions to Coverage
Accident victims who are involved in collisions with a motorist who was driving a borrowed vehicle at the time of the crash will usually still be able to seek compensation from the owner of the vehicle if the limits of their own policy are exceeded. There are, however, a few exceptions to this general rule. If, for example, a person was explicitly excluded from a certain household member’s insurance policy and later caused an accident, the car owner’s insurer will not be required to provide compensation to the injured party. Similarly, if a vehicle was stolen, injured parties cannot usually seek compensation from the vehicle’s owner. In some cases, a vehicle owner’s policy will only kick in to cover an injured party’s losses if the at-fault driver’s coverage is not enough to provide full compensation.
Call Today for Help with Your Car Accident Claim
To schedule a free consultation and case review with an experienced Florida car accident attorney, please contact Boone & Davis at 954-566-9919 or send us an online message.