Who's liable for damages in an accident involving a borrowed vehicle?

If you were involved in a wreck with someone in a borrowed vehicle or if you lent your vehicle to a friend who caused an accident while driving your car, understanding what Georgia law says about liability in these types of cases is vital. Here's what you need to know.

Insurance Coverage in a Borrowed Car

Auto insurance follows the car, rather than the driver, in the Peach State. This means that when a person borrows a vehicle, they essentially also "borrow" the insurance coverage on it. State law requires a minimum of $25,000 bodily liability coverage (a total of $50,000 for the deaths or injuries of more than one person) and $25,000 in property damage liability coverage. In Georgia, when someone borrows a car and causes an accident, the vehicle owner's liability insurance policy pays for the other driver's injuries (and injuries to their passengers), Handing Car Keys to an Open Handand the damage sustained to their vehicle.

In some cases, the liability coverage on the borrowed vehicle may not be sufficient to cover all of the other driver's injuries and damages. When that happens, the at-fault driver's insurance policy can kick in as secondary coverage. If you were injured, you can also may be able to take advantage of your own Uninsured Motorist (UM) and/or MedPay coverages, which follow the driver, rather than the vehicle.

If you loaned your car to someone else, or were driving a borrowed vehicle, it is important to know what to do regarding the damage to the borrowed vehicle. Collision and comprehensive insurance coverage can cover the damage, subject to a deductible. However, as optional insurance coverage, they can only help if you already have them. Review your auto insurance coverage periodically and consider adding these optional coverages to your policy.

Loaning your vehicle to someone or borrowing another person's car can be a risky decision. Make sure that the person borrowing your vehicle is a safe and responsible driver, and if you're borrowing a vehicle from someone else, make sure you can trust that the vehicle is in safe working condition.

Talk to an Experienced Georgia Attorney About Your Case

Need legal advice after getting into an accident with a driver who was in a borrowed vehicle or after loaning your vehicle to someone who caused a crash? Contact Rechtman & Spevak today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss options and potential damages.