What if You Have an Accident Driving Someone Else’s Car?

Getting into a car accident is always a stressful experience, but it can be even more aggravating when driving someone else’s car. There are more variables involved when you’re not dealing with your own car, which may make a car accident a bit more complicated. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions after being in an auto accident in someone else’s car.

What Happens if You Get Into an Accident While Driving Someone Else’s Car?

As a rule of thumb, insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver. That means that, as long as there is an active insurance policy on the car you were driving, it doesn’t matter who was driving the vehicle for the policy to kick in. Assuming that you are a licensed driver and aren’t specifically excluded from the vehicle’s insurance policy, then your accident should be covered under the owner’s insurance policy.

What Should I Do After Getting Into an Accident in Someone Else’s Car?

The steps to take after getting in an accident in someone else’s car are the same as in any other accident. When you’re in a car accident, you should:

  1. Get to safety. Car accidents often happen on busy roads or intersections. Staying there can put you at risk of being hit by another vehicle. If possible, pull over to the side of the road. Otherwise, carefully exit the vehicle and get out of the road.
  2. Call 911. If you or anyone else in the car accident was injured, then you are required by law to call 911. They will send an ambulance if necessary and notify the police about the accident.
  3. Assist the police with the accident report. Tell the police everything that happened in the car accident as well as any suspicions you may have. For example, if you suspect the other driver was driving drunk, then you should let the police know so they can perform appropriate tests at the scene.
  4. Get the contact information of all drivers. You should get the contact and insurance information of all drivers involved. You may also want to take down the information about the other vehicles involved, which may help when you file a claim.
  5. Find witnesses. Even if you only suffered minor injuries, it’s always best to get at least a couple of witnesses to give a statement. You can take down their contact information should you need them in the future.
  6. Take pictures of the scene. You will want to obtain plenty of photographic evidence of the damages sustained by your car as well as the other cars involved. 
  7. Seek medical help as soon as possible. The adrenaline from the accident may prevent your injuries from manifesting right away. Even if you only have minor pain, you should always seek a medical evaluation after an accident. This will help document your damages if you choose to seek compensation down the road.

At the same time, make sure to also check out what not to do after a car accident to avoid making any mistakes. 

Who Is Covered in an Auto Insurance Policy?

Most auto insurance policies offer coverage to more than just the policyholder. Most policies cover:

  • The named insured. As a rule, the person who owns the insurance policy is covered.
  • The spouse of the named insured. A policy almost always covers the spouse of the insured, regardless of whether or not they are explicitly listed as a regular driver on the policy.
  • Other relatives. Any licensed relatives that live in the same household as the insured are also covered by the policy.
  • Any permissive users. Any licensed driver with permission to operate the insured vehicle is typically covered under the auto insurance plan, despite not being listed on the policy. 

Can Certain Drivers Be Excluded From an Auto Insurance Policy?

In general, all drivers are included in an auto insurance policy except for a few specific circumstances. Some of the most common reasons why drivers may be excluded from an auto insurance policy include: 

  • The driver was excluded from the policy by the policyholder
  • The driver did not have permission to operate the vehicle
  • The driver did not have an active driver’s license
  • The driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol

If you live with someone with a bad driving record, you may want to exclude them from your auto insurance policy. This will help keep your premiums low, but it won’t cover the driver if they are involved in an accident while driving your car.

What Happens if I Didn’t Have Permission To Drive Someone Else’s Car?

Car insurance typically covers accidents caused by other drivers as long as it’s considered “permissive use.” This means that the driver must have explicit permission to drive the car involved in the accident for the insurance policy to kick in. 

However, if the driver was explicitly forbidden from driving the car and still did it anyway, then that is considered “non-permissive use.” Under these circumstances, the owner’s car insurance policy won’t kick in and the driver will have to rely on their own insurance policy for the crash.

Can I Use My Insurance if I Was in an Accident in Someone Else’s Car?

Your own insurance may act as supplemental insurance if you were involved in an accident in someone else’s car. For example, if you were responsible for an accident that caused $40,000 of bodily injuries to the other driver, but the car owner’s insurance only covers up to $30,000 in bodily injuries per person, then your own insurance may act as supplementary insurance and cover the remaining $10,000. 

Should I Hire an Auto Accident Attorney if Someone Else Got in an Accident While Driving My Car?

You should hire an auto accident attorney if the person who was in a car accident while driving your car was not responsible for the accident. This will allow you to recover the compensation you and those involved in the accident need and deserve. Contact one of the experienced car accident lawyers at Morris & Dewett today for a free consultation. Even if you were not driving your car at the moment of the accident, we can help you hold the at-fault driver responsible for their negligence.

Morris & Dewett provides this information to the public for general education and interest. The firm does not represent clients in every topic discussed in answers to frequent questions. The information is curated and produced based on questions commonly asked or search terms commonly used. Every effort is made to provide accurate information. Do not make any decision solely based on the information provided, please seek relevant counsel for each topic area. Consult an attorney before making any legal decision, consult a doctor before making any medical decision, and consult a financial advisor before making any fiscal decision. Information provided is not legal advice. If you have any legal needs, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are pleased to assist you.

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