Who Is Responsible for an Accident When Someone Other Than the Owner Is Driving a Car?

Driver | Car Accident Attorney | Huntsville, AL | Martinson & Beason, P.C.Who is responsible for your injuries when you’re driving someone else’s car?

When you’re in an accident while driving someone else’s car, you have many of the same rights as when you’re driving your own car. You may be able to recover against the other driver if his or her negligence caused your injuries. The car owner’s insurance may be the primary insurance in the case. If you also have a liability insurance policy in your name, your insurance may be secondary.

When two insurance policies cover a loss, one will typically be deemed the “primary” insurance and the other will be deemed “secondary.” The primary insurance policy will cover any loss up to its claims limit. Secondary insurance will cover loss after that, up to its limit.

In addition to any right to recover against the other driver, you may have the right to recovery against the owner of the car. Every car owner is responsible for maintaining the vehicle in a safe condition. If, for instance, the accident was caused by a brake failure or a worn-out tie rod, you may have a right to recovery against the car’s owner.

Who is responsible when you’re injured by someone driving another person’s car?

If you’re injured due to another driver’s negligence, the driver may be held responsible regardless of whether he or she owns the car.

You may be wondering whether you can sue the owner of the car separately from the driver. You typically won’t have a claim against the other driver unless the owner was personally negligent. For instance, if the owner lent the car to someone he or she knew was a dangerous driver, underage, or drunk, you may have a claim against the owner for something known as negligent entrustment.

If you’re in a car accident where one of the vehicles was driven by someone other than the owner, you’d be well advised to consult with an experienced Alabama car accident attorney immediately. An ordinary car accident case is complex enough without the added challenge presented by a driver who does not own the car.