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Am I Responsible if Someone Using My Car Gets into an Accident?

Posted on in Personal Injury

Campbell County personal injury attorney car accident

Before you lend your vehicle to someone, carefully consider what the consequences could be if he or she gets into an accident. There are various outcomes if the person borrowing a car has an accident, including minor to serious injuries. Therefore, it is important for any vehicle owner to understand his or her rights and responsibilities. Regardless of whether or not you know what your auto insurance policy covers or the nature of the accident, it is important to work with an accomplished car accident attorney to help secure the best outcome.

Tennessee Liability Laws

In general, the owner of the vehicle will be held financially responsible for any damages in a collision. Whether or not you are a passenger at the time, your insurance policy will most likely be the one to cover damages. This rule is known as ownership liability. In some situations, if your car is totaled by another driver, your insurance policy will pay up to its limits and then the driver’s policy will carry the rest of the burden. However, this all depends on what kind of insurance policy you have. Some do not allow for this sharing of financial responsibilities, and you may end up owing more than your insurance covers.

It is not uncommon for motorists to lend their vehicles to other drivers. However, any unlicensed or incompetent driver should not be driving your vehicle. Not only is it possible that your insurance rates will go up, but the victims of an accident could sue you for negligence. In that same light, any person who could possibly be drunk should not be given your keys. If you and a friend are out drinking and your friend seems more confident in his or her driving abilities than you are about yours, it is still not safe to trust him or her behind the wheel of your car. If you get pulled over for a DUI or your friend caused an accident with injuries, you can both face strong legal consequences.

A very common situation in which car owners can be held liable for a driver’s mistake is when parents loan their car to their children. It is very common for kids to use the ‘family’ car, which is technically being loaned to them. In Tennessee law, the Family Purpose Doctrine states that in this relationship, the head of the household is responsible for any negligent driving within the family. Another common car-lending situation is when an employer lends an employee a vehicle for work-related purposes. In this relationship, the employer is held liable for the employee’s driving. 

Contact a Jacksboro, TN Personal Injury Lawyer

After any car accident, it is imperative to seek medical attention first if there are any injuries. In some cases, seeking compensation for damages can be tricky, especially if you loaned your vehicle to a friend or family member and he or she was involved in a crash. At the Law Office of William F. Evans, a trustworthy Campbell County car accident attorney will help you move forward with your case. Call us today at 423-449-7980 to schedule your free consultation.




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