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Can I Sue Someone for Crashing My Car?

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Whether or not you trusted someone to drive your car, it can be incredibly disheartening to have your vehicle be in an accident when you weren’t present. However, just because you weren’t actively involved in the car crash doesn’t mean you don’t have legal rights. If you’re asking, “Can I sue someone for crashing my car?” you first need to understand what insurance may or may not cover.

Insurance Covers the Car, Not the Driver

In most cases, an insurance policy applies to the car rather than the policy owner. The insurance will cover the costs of whoever is driving the car when an accident occurs, whether that’s the owner or not—this applies if the person borrowing the car is a licensed driver and doesn’t regularly use the car.

Determining who is at fault in car accidents is the first step insurance carriers will take. If you let someone borrow your car and they cause a crash, your insurance is the first policy to kick in. It should cover medical bills, property damages and other expenses. If the person who was driving your car is not at fault for the crash, the responsibility for payment will fall on the other driver (if it’s an at-fault state).

Insurance Policy Exceptions

Some sub-standard insurance carriers offer cheaper policies that will exclude other drivers from their policies. Under these policies, even those who live in your household, unless specifically listed, are not covered when they drive your car.

Another notable exception is non-permissive use. This is when someone borrows your car without asking, or it’s stolen with the intention of not being returned. In this case, the insurance policy of the person who took your car is responsible for damage or injuries.

If you’ve reached the limit on your car’s liability insurance, the insurance policy of the person who borrowed your car might have to make up the remaining gap. This can be done by making a claim against the person’s insurance policy. The other instance is when they are not fit to drive, such as being unlicensed, or driving illegally, like distracted driving or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When this happens, the insurance company may deny claims.

It’s also important to know the insurance status of all drivers. According to Prop 213, if the person at fault for the accident is driving an uninsured vehicle, they are solely responsible for paying any damages. They’re also not allowed to collect compensation for pain and suffering, even if someone else is responsible for the accident.

Driver calling for help after a car accident

Can I Sue Someone for Crashing My Car?

Choosing to sue someone is a personal choice and is dependent on the circumstances. If an insurance company isn’t cooperative or the settlement needs to be higher, suing the driver may be the only way to get the money required to pay bills.

If the car was stolen or driven without permission, getting the driver’s cooperation can be challenging. When the driver won’t help pay for damages and liability, suing can be the only option.  

In a he said she said car accident, it is challenging to determine who is at fault. This can delay the insurance claim process and even increase insurance rates if the car’s driver is deemed responsible.

After an accident, it’s essential to know how to obtain police report from a car accident. Bring the accident report and all documentation when consulting with a lawyer. These documents will help them determine whether or not it’s in the individual’s best interest to sue someone.

Meet With an Experienced Attorney

Those wondering, “Can I sue someone for crashing my car?” should seek the counsel of an experienced auto accident lawyer. They can guide you through the claims process and help you get the compensation you deserve. At Avrek Law, we have recovered more than $1 billion in over 45,000 cases. Schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers or learn more about our no win, no fee policy.

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