Imagine you’re driving home from an event, exhausted from a night of only four hours of sleep. Since you’re not in the best condition to drive, you ask someone else to take the wheel of your brand new car.
Unfortunately, this person rear ends another vehicle, and you get into a costly accident.
So what do you do in this situation where you get into a car accident, but it technically isn’t your fault?
Let’s explore the steps you should take and the potential outcomes in such cases.
Taking Action After a Car Accident
First, it is crucial to do perform a number of different steps after getting into a car accident which include:
1. Calling 911 if there are injuries.
2. Notifying the police, depending on the area of the accident.
3. Gathering necessary documentation from the other driver including:
b. Phone Number & Address
c. License Number
d. Car Insurance Information
4. Take photos of the accident and injuries (if applicable)
5. Gather witness contact information.
6. Notifying insurance and the DMV immediately.
So after you do all of that, now what?
Now you have to determine who was truly liable, look at your car insurance policies, and learn what happens when someone crashes your vehicle, which will be discussed in this article.
How to Determine Liability In a Car Accident
According to Cornell Law, liability refers to when a party, or someone is held legally responsible for something, dependent on the party’s actions.
When determining liability in a car accident, it is important to understand who was at fault for the car accident and the terms of your insurance policy.
Determining who is at fault for a car accident can depend on a number of different elements such as:
● Who hit the car first?
● One or more drivers admitting fault.
● The location of damage.
If someone was responsible for getting you into a car accident and might refuse to take responsibility for their actions, hiring a lawyer might be necessary.
Regardless of what happened, you need to have car insurance to show financial responsibility for your vehicle. If you don’t end up having car insurance or proper vehicle registration, these actions could be punishable by law.
Car Insurance Coverage Requirements
Car insurance is required in all states, except for New Hampshire, but as state requirements vary, the types of car insurance coverage that you need to have stay the same, as the minimum car insurance requirements include:
● Liability Insurance
● Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (Dependent on State)
● Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
● Medical Payments Coverage
Having these options in your car insurance plan are all necessary for ensuring the best possible outcome if you get into a car accident.
The settlement that you obtain from an insurance company will also depend on other factors such as your policy, the year of your car, and how much damage is done to your vehicle. For more information on car settlements, feel free to check out this page.
There’s a saying that goes, “auto insurance follows the car, not the driver”.
So if your friend crashes your car, if they have or don’t have insurance, you and your insurance is responsible for anything that may happen. Therefore, these could lead to higher insurance rates, which is certainly unpleasant.
Generally, your friend’s insurance won’t cover the damages from the car accident, unless the damages from the car accident exceed your policy limits. In most cases, the driver’s insurance won’t need to get involved, unless for a catastrophic accident.
How A Car Accident Attorney Can Help
When going through the unexpected event of someone causing damage to your vehicle, it can be difficult to determine the best course of action. Using the help of a car accident lawyer who knows how to fight the insurance companies can provide the following benefits:
● Obtaining a larger settlement.
● Taking care of insurance company negotiations.
● Evaluating your case and making proper recommendations.
● Filing a claim against the liable party.
As having the help of an experienced car accident lawyer can help, it is vital to remember that a settlement will vary on factors such as your car insurance policy and the evidence you present.
With all of these tips in mind, always be selective about who can drive your car, whether it be your best friend or “not as close” friend. By taking the necessary precautions and being aware of your rights and responsibilities, you can navigate the aftermath of a car accident more effectively.