Who is At Fault in an Accident with a Borrowed Vehicle?

By February 25, 2010Personal Injury

Q.

If somebody is driving a vehicle that is in your name and gets in an accident without insurance, who is responsible – the driver or the owner of the vehicle?

— Mike

A.

The answer to this question depends on two important facts: first, who was at fault? If the driver of the other vehicle was at fault, then their liability insurance should pay for any damage to your vehicle and for any injuries the driver of your vehicle sustained.

However, if the person driving your vehicle was at fault, then they are responsible. Although, if they were driving the vehicle with your permission, your liability insurance policy may pay for the other driver’s damages under a “permissive use” clause that most policies contain.

On the other hand, if, for example, the driver had stolen your vehicle, you would not be responsible and your insurance would not likely pay the other driver. If the person driving your vehicle had their own insurance, that policy might be available to pay the other driver’s damages as well, but it sounds like the driver of your vehicle didn’t have their own insurance, so assuming you allowed them to drive your vehicle, it is your insurance that will likely pay if the driver of your vehicle was at fault.