Car insurance can be a confusing topic, especially when it comes to determining fault in an Indiana car accident involving a borrowed vehicle. Laws regarding insurance coverage and liability can vary from county to county, and the situation becomes even more complex if you lend your car to someone who later gets into an accident while driving it. Let’s explore what happens in such scenarios and how insurance coverage is affected.
As a general guideline, if someone borrows your car and gets into an accident in Indiana, your insurance company will typically take over the responsibility for the damages if you had given them oral permission to use your vehicle. However, it is important to note that your insurance records must demonstrate that the borrower was not excluded from coverage at the time you obtained your insurance policy. If they were specifically excluded, they would be responsible for the damages through their own insurance coverage.
In Indiana, it is assumed that responsible car owners exercise caution when allowing others, including friends or relatives, to drive their vehicle. This assumption plays a significant role when determining liability in cases where a borrowed car is involved in an accident caused by the driver. If the court determines that the car owner was negligent in lending their vehicle, especially to a driver with a history of traffic violations, the owner may share liability for any damages resulting from the accident.
In the event that someone borrows your car and causes an accident in Indiana, bodily injury liability insurance will cover injuries to the other driver and their passengers. Property damage liability insurance will pay for damages to the other driver’s vehicle. If the borrowed car causes damage that exceeds your coverage limits, the borrower’s liability policy can act as secondary coverage. However, their coverage will only come into effect once your coverage has been exhausted.
It’s important to note that you won’t need to utilize your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments (MedPay) coverage if someone else causes an accident while driving your car. PIP and MedPay coverage follow the driver, not the vehicle owner. However, you will need to rely on your collision and comprehensive insurance to cover the damages to your own vehicle. These optional coverage types will pay for the repair of your car, regardless of who was driving, but it will be considered a claim on your own insurance policy.
In summary, when a borrowed car is involved in an accident in Indiana, the insurance coverage and liability depend on several factors. It is crucial to have proper documentation and ensure that the borrower is not excluded from coverage in your insurance policy. Understanding these nuances can help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims and ensure that you have the appropriate coverage in place when lending your vehicle to others.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident, contact Hurst Limontes today to discuss your options. We have decades of combined experience fighting for our clients in any number of personal injury claims. We work on a contingency basis, meaning there is no cost to you unless we reach a settlement or jury verdict award on your behalf.
Call 317-636-0808 or email us for a FREE and confidential consultation.