For obvious reasons, borrowing or renting a car is normal. For example, a teenager could borrow a car from their parents, and one spouse could borrow their partner’s car to run errands. However, while using the borrowed car, they could get into an accident.
If you are involved in an accident with a borrowed car, knowing who to hold accountable may be confusing. Is the owner of the vehicle at fault, or is the driver at fault? Getting the right answers to these questions is crucial as you attempt to claim damages.
Fortunately, you can enlist the help of an experienced Charlotte car accident lawyer to determine who is at fault. An experienced car accident lawyer would examine the facts of the case while guiding you on the next steps to take.
Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident Involving a Borrowed Car?
On the surface, determining who is at fault in an accident involving a borrowed car can be tricky. The owner of the car is not the one driving, so you might be confused. Luckily, insurance follows the car and not the driver. It means that even if the party at fault is not the car owner, you can still claim damages.
However, there are some limitations. For example, if the car was stolen or borrowed without permission, then the owner of the car and their insurance company could refuse to pay damages. Should this happen, you could claim compensation through personal injury protection (PIP) or uninsured/underinsured policy.
An uninsured or underinsured policy protects you if the fault party does not have insurance or enough coverage. Personal injury protection, on the other hand, covers healthcare expenses in a car accident.
Determining permission is frequently difficult. Typically, granting permission would involve a verbal or written acceptance. However, it could also be implied. For example, if the owner of the car hands over the keys or does not object when asked for permission, that could count as granting permission.
Establishing that permission was granted by the owner of the vehicle throws up another question on negligent entrustment. Put simply, negligent entrustment holds that a vehicle owner who lends a car to someone who poses a risk is at fault. Therefore, you can claim damages if you can establish that the owner of the car was aware that the person borrowing it posed a risk. For example, a person could lend their car while aware that the loanee was drunk. This could make them liable for damages.
If the car owner was aware that the car was defective but let someone else use it, they are liable. Even if the accident was caused by the driver’s negligence, the car owner could still have some fault. This also applies to employers allowing employees to use their vehicles for business reasons. In such an instance, if the employee was reckless or unfit to drive, the employer is responsible.
What To Do After a Car Accident Involving a Borrowed Car
Having established who is at fault, let us examine what you must do after a car accident. First, check yourself for injuries. Then, if there were other passengers with you, check on them as well. After doing this, call the police for help. Doing this is important as it could be needed to establish your claim in the future.
At this point, you should try to document the accident. You can do this by taking pictures or making videos. Also, if there are eyewitnesses, get their contact information. However, you should only do this if you are strong enough. If you are hurt, you should focus on getting help.
However, if you are not severely injured, you should watch out for surveillance cameras close to the accident scene. In this way, even if the driver at fault escapes, you can still get some evidence of the accident.
Contact Our Charlotte Car Accident Attorneys to Learn More
Car accidents are unpleasant situations. In addition to healing from possible injuries or trauma, you often have to deal with insurance companies. This is why it is important to have the services of a car accident lawyer in Charlotte.
An experienced auto accident lawyer would help you determine what legal steps to take after an accident. In addition, they ensure that you are protected at all times. Here at Ted A. Greve and Associates, our experience dealing with car accident cases make us a good fit for you. Supported by medical and insurance personnel, we ensure that your case gets the appropriate attention from us. Contact us today for a free case review.