If you were in an accident while driving someone else’s car, you might wonder whose insurance covers the cost of the damages. The answer may not be as clear-cut as you think, depending on the circumstances.
At Wagners, we can help you determine who should be responsible for the costs associated with an accident injury. With decades of experience in personal injury law, our personal injury lawyers Halifax help accident victims pursue the compensation they need. Contact us today to learn more about how our Halifax injury lawyers can help you.
What Happens if You Borrow a Friend’s Car and Get Into An Accident?
Accidents can happen anywhere and anytime, no matter who is behind the wheel. If you ever find yourself in an accident while driving someone else’s car, you might wonder whose insurance will cover it. In order for an insurance policy to cover an accident in someone else’s car, you must meet certain conditions. These include:
- You have a valid Canadian driver’s license.
- The owner gave you either verbal or written permission to use that vehicle.
- You haven’t committed an offense under Canada’s Criminal Code while operating the car, like drunk driving.
- You are not using the vehicle for one of the prohibited uses within the policy, like making deliveries or some other commercial activity.
- You are not expressly excluded from driving the vehicle by the owner’s policy.
If you meet these conditions and an accident occurs, the owner’s policy may provide coverage.
After suffering injuries in an accident in someone else’s car, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. A Halifax car accident lawyer can help you determine who is liable for your injuries and losses. They can also file a claim with the insurance company on your behalf.
What Happens if Someone Else Is Driving My Car and Gets in an Accident in Canada?
Accidents that occur when someone else is driving your car are still subject to the same conditions. In other words, if you’ve permitted someone else to drive your car, and they are involved in an accident, your insurer may still cover the damage as long as the driver was legally allowed to drive the vehicle and met the policy terms.
When Should Someone I Add Someone to an Insurance Policy?
In some cases, car owners should add drivers to their insurance policy, especially if the other person drives their car frequently. If someone drives your vehicle less than 50% of the time, you might not need to add them to your insurance policy. However, if they use your car on a regular basis, consider asking the driver to your policy. Insurance policies allow the policyholder to add an “occasional driver” to the policy, which helps protect both the driver and the vehicle owner in case of an accident.
What if the Car’s Owner is Uninsured?
In Canada, drivers must carry automobile insurance. Before driving someone else’s vehicle, make sure that you ask the owner about their insurance policy and find out if it is up to date. You may face difficulties recovering compensation if you are injured in an accident while driving an uninsured vehicle. Therefore, always ensure that the person whose car you are driving has valid and up-to-date insurance coverage.
What if the Owner’s Coverage Is Insufficient?
Every vehicle must have liability coverage to operate legally on the roads in Canada. The minimum liability coverage required in Nova Scotia is $500,000, while in other nearby provinces, it is often $200,000. However, suppose a claim for an accident exceeds the coverage listed on the policy. In that case, both the driver and the vehicle owner may be responsible for paying the additional costs.
For example, if someone files a $1,000,000 claim, but the owner only has $200,000 in liability coverage, the driver and owner of the vehicle might share responsibility for paying the additional $800,000 in damages. This can become a very costly situation for those involved, so it is essential to ensure that insurance coverage on a vehicle sufficiently covers any potential claims arising from an accident.
Why Insurers May Deny a Claim
In some cases, an insurance company may deny a claim for an accident in someone else’s car. There are several reasons why insurers might deny a claim in these circumstances, including the following:
- The driver does not have permission from the car’s owner to use the vehicle.
- The driver was engaged in illegal activity at the time of the accident.
- The driver drove under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
Is it Legal to Drive Someone Else’s Car in Canada?
Driving someone else’s car in Canada is legal as long as the driver has a valid driver’s license (and didn’t steal the car). If a driver does not meet this condition and gets in an accident, the owner’s insurance company may deny the claim. The car’s owner could be liable for any damages the accident caused and may have to pay out of pocket if costs exceed coverage. Ensure whoever drives your car meets the conditions for coverage under your policy.
Auto insurance is mandatory in Halifax, and vehicle owners must obtain coverage before driving a car. Currently, the minimum required insurance limits are $500,000 liability coverage, $50,000 medical payments coverage, $2,500 funeral benefits, disability income/death benefits for injuries or fatalities, and uninsured and unidentified driver insurance. In addition, Nova Scotia has a no-fault-based insurance system, which means that regardless of who is at fault in an accident, drivers should file claims with their own insurance company to cover their medical bills and vehicle repairs. Consider carrying more than the minimum required liability coverage for adequate accident protection.
Liability Issues When Driving Another Person’s Car
If someone borrows your car and gets into an accident, you must file the claim with your own insurer because your insurance is attached to your vehicle. This can cause your insurance rates to go up. It’s possible to seek compensation from the driver’s insurance company in some situations where the amount of money needed exceeds policy limits. However, the owner can also be personally responsible in some cases for any accident-related costs that go beyond insurance policy limits.
If someone takes your car without your consent and gets into an accident, their insurance may serve as primary liability coverage. This means that their policy is responsible for any damages and injuries the crash caused. Likewise, if someone steals your car and causes a car crash, you will likely not be liable for damages.
After an accident, contact a Nova Scotia car accident lawyer for help filing claims and dealing with insurance companies. A lawyer can review your policy, determine if it meets your needs, and advise what steps you should take next.
How a Nova Scotia Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Insurance companies aim to give the lowest settlement possible for those injured in an accident in someone else’s car. Without the help of an experienced Nova Scotia car accident lawyer, many drivers don’t have the knowledge or experience necessary to fight for the best outcome. Unfortunately, this can reduce the potential settlement offer and prevent drivers from receiving benefits they may be entitled to.
A car accident lawyer can examine the accident details and ensure the driver has all the proper paperwork for a successful claim. They also help navigate the insurance process and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure their client receives the settlement they may be entitled to. A quality accident lawyer could mean the difference between a low settlement offer and a higher payout that covers medical expenses, property damage, and other losses associated with the accident. An experienced Halifax car accident lawyer can:
- Guide you through the insurance claims process
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- Help you identify the types of benefits and compensation you are entitled to
- Make sure to fill out all paperwork properly
- Defend your rights in court, if you are unable to secure an adequate settlement with the insurance company
- Represent your best interests and protect your rights
Speak With a Halifax Car Accident Lawyer Today
When dealing with an accident in someone else’s car, things can get complicated. If you suffered injuries in an accident while driving another person’s vehicle, it’s crucial to speak with a Halifax car accident lawyer. At Wagners, our team of qualified injury lawyers will guide you through the legal process and fight for the compensation you may deserve. With over 40 years of experience, we are dedicated to helping individuals navigate the complex legal system and advocating for their best interests. We take the time to listen to your case, evaluate your options, and provide comprehensive advice tailored to your situation.
Contact Wagners today for a free consultation with an experienced Halifax accident lawyer and find out how we can help you.