It is becoming more and more common that the driver of a car may not own it. With a plethora of car renting apps, from ZipCar to Maven, rental services such as Enterprise, and cases in which a person borrows a friend or family member’s car, the person behind the wheel may not be listed on the insurance policy or as a regular user of the vehicle.
While these arrangements can be beneficial for everyone involved, they sometimes make seeking compensation after a car accident much more complicated. The actions an injury victim or their personal injury attorney take after a collision can vary depending on the type and amount of insurance coverage involved.
If you have an insurance policy, it could be the best course of action to seek reimbursement for your own accident-related expenses under your insurance policy instead of the vehicle owner’s. Liability coverage typically follows the policyholder no matter what vehicle they are driving.
Although it is not required under Louisiana law, many drivers have underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage under their personal policy. If the driver of the borrowed car is not covered by an insurance policy, you may be able to file a claim under your own underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage.
There is also the possibility of filing a claim with the vehicle owner’s insurance company. In some cases, the driver of the borrowed car may be listed as an insured driver on the owner’s policy. For example, roommates or afterschool babysitters who frequently borrow the car can be listed on the owner’s auto insurance policy.
Additionally, insurance policies may consider certain situations permissive use. For example, if someone borrows a vehicle on occasions, such as a friend whose car is in the shop, or a neighbor using the vehicle for a singular errand, it could be covered under a car insurance policy. Some policies have this stipulation, while others do not. It is always smart to check with your insurer directly to understand and clarify the limits of your coverage.
Car accidents can be complicated, and sometimes having a knowledgeable attorney can make the process easier for you to handle. When it comes to a car accident with a borrowed vehicle, issues with insurance can make the case feel overwhelming. If you need legal advice and support for your auto accident claim, the well-versed attorneys at Laborde Earles could help you fight for the compensation you deserve.