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I Got Into an Accident While Driving My Friend’s Car – Can They Be Sued Too?

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I Got Into an Accident While Driving My Friend’s Car – Can They Be Sued Too?

Car accident cases are often resolved by figuring out which insurance company will pay for the injuries and damages that are caused in the accident. While most car accidents involve drivers who either own or are authorized drivers of the vehicles involved, sometimes an accident involves a driver using a vehicle lent to him or her by a friend or extended family member. When the driver of the loaned vehicle is responsible for the crash, it raises the question of whether the owner of the vehicle can have liability for the accident as well. 

Figuring Out Which Insurance Company Pays

If both the driver and the owner of the vehicle have auto insurance policies, there may be a dispute over whether the driver’s policy or the vehicle’s owner’s policy will pay for injuries or damages caused in the accident. Whether either or both insurance companies will accept coverage for a loss will depend on the terms under each policy. Some insurance policies have broad coverage terms that follow a driver when he or she drives a rented or loaned vehicle. If the driver’s insurance policy (if he or she has one) will not cover his or her use of a loaned vehicle, then injured or damaged parties will need to turn to the insurance of the vehicle’s owner. 

Read more: Car Insurance FAQ

Whether The Owner’s Insurance Policy Will Cover

In some cases, the owner’s insurance policy will not cover an accident caused by someone the owner lent his or her car to. In other cases, the policy may offer limited coverage when someone other than a named driver operates an insured vehicle. This is why it is critical for vehicle owners to read the terms of their insurance policy to understand what coverage, if any, is available if they lend their vehicle to a family member or friend not specifically named in the policy who then causes an accident with that vehicle. 

If a person lends his or her vehicle to a friend who then causes a car accident, other people who suffer injury or property damage in the accident may be able to pursue a legal claim of negligent entrustment against the owner of the vehicle, which can open him or her to liability regardless of whether his or her auto insurance will provide coverage for the accident. 

Read more: Will My Insurance Premium Go Up If I File A Claim?

What to Do If Your Friend’s Insurance Refuses Coverage

If the insurance company for your friend’s vehicle declines coverage, it is critical for both you and your friend to retain legal representation, especially if you and your friend face legal liability without the benefit of having insurance coverage to pay for any damages. It can also be helpful to secure any evidence arising from the accident, including police accident reports, accident scene photos, vehicle damage reports, or surveillance or dashcam footage, since this evidence may be useful to prove that the other driver was responsible for causing the accident. 

You may also want to consider hiring an attorney experienced in insurance law if you believe that the insurance company is wrongfully denying coverage that should be available under the terms of the policy. A lawyer can help you determine if you have a bad faith insurance claim that you can bring for a wrongful denial of coverage; you may also be able to settle a case brought by someone who suffered injuries or damages in the accident by assigning any rights you have in a bad faith insurance claim to the injured party. 

Read more: How To Deal With Insurance Adjusters After An NJ Car Accident

Contact a Haddonfield Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at the Law Offices of Andres & Berger P.C. represent clients injured because of car accidents in Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, Winslow, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 795-1444 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 264 Kings Hwy. E. Haddonfield, NJ 08033.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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Sharon Smith

Mike Berger and staff were professional, pleasant, strategic and knowledgeable. The office always kept me informed about my case and moved the case along quicker than I expected. I would highly recommend them to anyone !!

Kathryn N.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Mr. Andres is reliable, honest, driven, knowledgeable, compassionate and highly respected among colleagues and medical professionals. He stands by his word and can be trusted. He and Gail have fought for me during times when I wasn’t strong enough to fight for myself. The Andres & Berger law firm understands Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Mr. Andres thank you for your support and guidance over the years. I consider you my fierce, tenacious attorney and dear friend.

Mike V.

Mike Berger of Andres & Berger handled my case over a six year period. He and the team examined every detail to get the best outcome. They were honest, candid and communicative throughout the whole process. It was a long ordeal but could not have been handled more professionally. I highly recommend.

Yadira R.

I just want to say thank you for what you have done for me and my family throughout the years. You made us feel like family, not just clients. You were always very detailed when it came to our cases and tried everything in your power to get us all the help we needed.

Gregory W.

Our family appreciated your unfailing attention to detail. There were last minute snags, we seldom worried that something would fall through the cracks, but you anticipated every contingency. Your firm demonstrated a veracity for the truth, a strong work ethic and overall impeccable character in dealing with our case.

01 / 05

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