Many people are familiar with what to do when you are in a car accident in your own vehicle, but what happens when you are in a motor vehicle collision while driving someone else’s vehicle. Personal injury laws and insurance coverage can be confusing and make it challenging to understand what your rights are and who might be responsible for your damages and losses.
Many people may be under the assumption that if they are in an accident while driving someone else’s vehicle, their own personal car insurance will play a role in the recovery of compensation for any potential losses. However, this is not the case. When you are driving any vehicle, it is the car insurance of that vehicle or the insurance of the driver at fault that will process a claim for damages in the accident.
Can Fault for the Accident Affect the Options Available to You?
You may not be sure how an accident took place or maybe you know exactly what actions led to the accident. Either way, as part of each motor vehicle accident insurance claim, the insurer processing the claim will determine who they believe is primarily at fault for the accident. When an insurance company makes a determination of fault, this can have subsequent impacts on the case and your ability to recover your losses through a claim.
Each state has its own laws that pertain to car accidents. While some states are at-fault states, meaning you are limited in your recovery if you are at fault for the accidents, other states are no-fault states where fault does not prevent a car accident victim from seeking compensation of certain damages from their own insurer.
If you are a victim of a car accident due to another driver’s negligence but you are in the vehicle of another, you may have several options for recovery depending on the circumstances. Typically, the insurer of the at-fault party will cover the losses of the victims of the at-fault party’s negligence. However, if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or the insurance policy limits are insufficient to cover your losses you may then seek compensation from the vehicle owner’s insurance company.
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Who Can Be Liable to You Following an Accident in Another Vehicle?
The liability of others to you after a car accident will depend on various factors such as who is at fault, what insurance policies are applicable, and if the driver at fault was driving in a personal or commercial capacity. Car accident liability determinations are often complex and are not always black and white. Insurers can find more than one party liable in an accident and how they apportion fault can influence how much of the damages each party is responsible for.
Liability in a car accident while in someone else’ vehicle includes:
- The other driver
- The vehicle owner
- The employer of the driver
Damages that Are Available to You After a Motor Vehicle Collision
Whether you are driving your vehicle or another vehicle, the outcome of a crash will have the same effect on your physical health and life. What vehicle you are driving at the time of an accident does not change what compensation you can seek for your losses from the parties responsible in a case. Damages available after an accident while driving another’s car include:
Any injury, regardless of the severity, can result in medical costs. All of your medical expenses for treatment of your injuries now and in the future, if your condition warrants long-term treatment, are recoverable in a car accident claim or lawsuit.
Loss of Income
Car accidents can cause a victim to miss work. For many, it is a matter of a few days and missed hours, but for those facing significant injuries, the mere hours can turn to weeks and months. A car accident claim allows victims to seek compensation for lost wages, income, future income, and income potential due to the injuries.
Pain and Suffering
If you suffer pain from your injuries or suffering emotionally or mentally after an accident, you can pursue compensation through a claim for damages. These are not easy damages to calculate but a lawyer with experience in these matters will help you understand how much money you may be eligible for in this category of damages.
Although you can not seek compensation for the damage to the vehicle you were driving in the accident because it is not your own; the owner of the vehicle will likely be eligible to seek compensation for the repair or value of the vehicle, loss when another driver is at-fault in the accident.
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Do You Need a Lawyer to Represent You If the Car in the Accident Was Not Yours?
A lawyer in a car accident insurance claim is always beneficial and can provide you with an advantage while seeking compensation in your case. Hiring an attorney is particularly important in cases that are outside of the norm and involve complications such as a victim that was not driving their own vehicle during the crash.
There are many competing interests that can arise in a case where there are multiple interested parties. A lawyer will help you by prioritizing your needs and fighting for your rights against any interests that may conflict with your own.
When you choose to hire a lawyer to represent you in your case, you can gain peace of mind in knowing they will use their resources, knowledge, and experience to help you seek the best possible outcome in your case. Lawyers understand the insurance claims process and how to negotiate with insurers to reach a resolution outside of court whenever possible.
If You Are in an Accident in a Vehicle that Is Not Yours, Call an Attorney
After a car accident, schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer to discuss the facts of the case and whether you may be eligible to pursue compensation for your losses from another party.
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