Did you know that about 6.75 million vehicle accidents occur every year? Research also shows that there are 18,510 daily car accidents in the US.
When driving, using a phone distracts you from noting approaching cars or other road users. Accidents may also occur due to drunk driving and speeding. Driving under the influence blurs your judgment and may cause you to veer off your lane.
With these rampant vehicle accident cases, it’s essential to observe all the safety measures when loaning a car to a friend. Such actions will protect you from being liable in case an accident occurs. Read for ways to protect yourself when lending your friend a car.
Check for a Valid Driver’s License
Even if it’s someone close to you, exercising caution when giving them your vehicle reduces losses. Before giving out your car, ensure the friend has a valid driver’s license.
A driver’s license protects you and your friend from running into problems with the law enforcement officers. The license is a crucial document because it:
- Shows if your friend is of legal age to drive a car
- Displays if the friend is driving within your state
- Confirms that your friend understands all responsibilities while on the road
If you loan your car to a friend without a valid driver’s license, you will be liable in case of an accident. Giving such a person your car translates to negligent entrustment, and you will be responsible for all damages. In such cases, your insurance will not cover any claims.
However, if your friend has a valid driver’s license and the accident occurs, contact an auto accident lawyer to ease your legal processes.
Do Not Allow Your Friend to Drive Your Car Without Permission
Loaning a car to a friend shows that you permitted them to drive your vehicle. Permissive use insurance covers damages when such a friend gets into an accident.
A friend who can lend my car understands the significance of getting permission. Giving them your consent eases your insurance claim process. Besides, auto insurance covers your friend if they drive your car periodically, even when not in the household policy.
If a friend drives your car without your permission and an accident occurs, you may experience losses. For an insured friend, their coverage becomes primary insurance. If your friend does not have a cover, you and your auto insurance firm will be liable for all damages.
Check if the Friend Is Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Driving under the influence affects people’s judgment on the road leading to fatalities. In 2019, drunk-driving vehicle accidents caused about 10,142 deaths. Letting someone borrow your car while on drugs or alcohol may subject you to huge losses.
Besides, allowing a friend to drive your car when under the influence poses a danger to themselves and other road users. Giving your drunken friends a car translates to negligent entrustment, and your insurance company will not be liable for damages.
Before loaning a car, observing the following signs protects you from losses:
- The friend has an unclear speech
- The friend has trouble maintaining balance
- They have difficulty recalling things
- The friend has a slow response time
Observing these signs help you reduce accidents and protect yourself from liability claims.
Ensure You Sign a Waiver Before Giving Out Your Car
Permitting a friend to drive your car may not subject you to any significant liabilities if an accident occurs. But you can protect yourself further from being liable by signing a waiver. A waiver protects you from the faults committed by the friend when driving your car.
A waiver also ensures you get full coverage car insurance for damages. The waiver also makes sure the friend understands the risks involved if they cause an accident. Since insurance only covers the vehicle, having a legal agreement allows the friend to cover all injured party’s damages.
When signing a waiver, you can check the condition of your car before lending it out. This measure lessens your repair costs if a friend fails to tell you that they damaged your vehicle. Additionally, it’s crucial to repair your vehicle before giving it out to your friend to avoid future complications.
Know the Purpose of Borrowing Your Car
Before loaning a car, ask your friend to tell you why they need your vehicle. Noting down such reasons helps you receive your claims faster. Besides, it protects you from arrests, especially if your friend engages in illegal activities with your car.
The reasons for borrowing your car are crucial to protect you from losing your vehicle. Your auto insurance covers your basic car usage and does not extend to commercial use. If a friend borrows the car and uses it to make deliveries or as a taxi, your auto insurance may not cover the damages.
By highlighting these reasons, you can decide whether to give out your car or decline your friend’s request. If the friend has a commercial coverage policy, then lending them a vehicle will not subject you to any losses. Such coverage protects you from paying higher rates to your auto insurance firm.
Protect Yourself When Loaning a Car
Many car accidents occur due to careless driving and the influence of drugs or alcohol. You can reduce such accident cases by being cautious when loaning a car to a friend. Taking all the necessary measures also protects you from liability claims.
Before lending your friend a car, ensure they have a valid driver’s license. Also, sign an agreement with them to protect you from financing the injured party claims. If a friend causes an accident, consult an auto accident lawyer to help you get your reimbursement.
At RHINO Lawyers, we can help you seek compensation due to auto accident injury. Also, we can advise on legal procedures you should take when your friend causes an accident with your car. Contact us today for any legal assistance.
CONTACT A TAMPA AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.
Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.