If you have ever gone out with a group of friends it is likely you have
been designated as the sober driver a few times. You may be wondering,
what happens if I am driving a friend’s car and are injured in an
accident? Am I covered for my injuries? What are my options if the policy
limits are less than the total cost of my injuries? There is not a simple
answer, as it depends on the circumstances. In this blog, our Richmond
car accident lawyers discuss your options if you are injured while driving
Car Insurance Follows the Vehicle
Insurance coverages can be confusing, especially for newer drivers who
may be unfamiliar with the complexities of insurance coverages. Car insurance
following the driver is one of the most common misconceptions regarding
coverage. In truth, car insurance follows the vehicle insured on the policy.
With a few exceptions, if someone gives you permission to drive their
car than their coverage is the primary coverage on the vehicle if you
get into a car accident. Your insurance will act as secondary coverage
and will only take effect as excess coverage.
The exceptions to this rule are as follows:
- If you did NOT give permission
- If the driver was excluded from the policy
- If the driver was unlicensed
Did an Insured Driver Cause the Accident?
If a negligent, insured driver caused the accident, you should be insured
up to the policy limits of the liability coverage of the person who hit you.
Damages involving personal injury cover:
- Future and past medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Permanent disability
If the driver at fault did not have insurance, whether or not you are covered
by your friend’s policy is determined by the specific policy language.
Most insurance policies provide coverage for uninsured or underinsured
motorists, but it may only cover the policyholder. If you were injured
while driving a friend’s car, you might be approached by the at-fault
driver’s insurance to make a statement regarding the accident. Their
insurance company may entice you with the dollar amount of a settlement;
they may threaten that your damages will not be covered but understand
that the law does not require you to make a statement to the insurance
company. Insurance companies are looking for evidence to determine they
policyholder was not completely at fault by the accident, so they do not
have to pay out as much for your injuries. If this happens to you, contact
an experienced Richmond car accident attorney. The attorneys of Halperin
Law Center are invested in protecting your right to compensation, we have
recovered millions on behalf of previous clients.