If you were able to see into the future, there is very little doubt that you wouldn’t hand your keys over if you knew the person borrowing your vehicle was going to get into an accident. That, unfortunately, is exactly what happened. You gave your keys to someone else, and they were in a collision. You are angry and a bit put out, but relieved that you weren’t the one behind the wheel. It means you are off the hook for any damages or injuries caused to another person. But are you?
You may think you are in the clear because you weren’t driving, but you may not be. There are certain circumstances in which you can be held liable even though you weren’t behind the wheel at the time the accident occurred.
The News You Want
First, let’s talk about the good news. You have automobile insurance. You have adequate coverage if you are found to be at fault in an accident. Your rates may go up, but you won’t have to pay tens of thousands of dollars for the damage you cause. While this may be true, you may not have the coverage you need should someone borrow your car and get in a wreck.
The next piece of good news is that even if you don’t have the right coverage, the person who was driving your car may. If they have personal liability coverage, the damage and injury they caused may be covered by their own insurance.
The News You Don’t Want
If you don’t have the right coverage and the person who was driving your car doesn’t have personal liability insurance, you could very well be on the hook for compensating the driver who was injured or sustained damage to their vehicle. This is due to the legal concept called “vicarious liability.” This can apply to the type of situation we are discussing if you knew that the driver you gave your keys to was unlicensed or unsafe. Vicarious liability can also kick in if you knew that your vehicle was not safe to drive.
In some states, the liability of the car owner is written into the letter of the law. If someone is involved in a car accident while driving your vehicle, you may be held responsible simply because of what the law says. If someone is in an accident while driving your car, it is recommended that you contact an attorney to discuss your potential liability.
If you are involved in a vehicle collision in Charlotte, you may be able to sue the offending party for compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more. Call our offices today to speak with a member of our team and to schedule an appointment for a no-cost case evaluation. You can also browse our website at your convenience to learn more about our firm and the types of cases we have handled successfully. You shouldn’t be forced to pay for medical bills or damage to your property due to an accident that wasn’t your fault — we can help make sure you don’t.