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Borrowed car accident liability

Many people let others drive their vehicles in New York. Whether it is a family member or a friend, most people do not hesitate when someone asks to borrow their vehicle to run a quick errand or to go somewhere for the day. However, things can get complicated if the person borrowing a vehicle gets into an accident. It then becomes a situation where everyone wants to know who is responsible for damages.

In general, it will be the insurance of the person who owns the vehicle that will cover expenses, according to Esurance. As long as the owner gave the person permission to drive his or her vehicle, then the insurance on that vehicle is the first used in the event of an accident. This changes, though, if the person did not have permission to drive it or if another vehicle was at fault for the accident. Without permission, it is the liability of the driver to cover accident costs, and when another driver is at fault, costs become that driver’s responsibility.  

Insure.com notes that situations can get even more complex based on insurance coverage and the extent of an accident. For example, if the damage caused in an accident is more than the vehicle’s insurance coverage, the driver’s insurance may cover the remainder of the costs. If a vehicle is loaned to a driver who does not have insurance and major damage is caused in an accident, things can get very difficult for the vehicle owner, who now becomes completely liable for any costs not covered. If damage is very minimal and only to the borrowed vehicle, then insurance may not need to be involved at all.

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