MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. Let’s say you loan your car to a friend and your friend gets into a serious accident. Most people are aware that their insurance will cover a friend for occasional use of a car, but many Minnesotans may not be aware that they could be responsible for any damage a friend causes that isn’t covered by insurance. This means that if your friend drinks and drives, or is negligent for another driver’s serious injuries, you could potentially be on the hook for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and other losses resulting from an accident you didn’t cause.
According to the Star Tribune, under Minnesota law, drivers who loan their cars are responsible for any actions the driver takes with the vehicle. The Star Tribune recently reported on a personal injury case that resulted in two families becoming the victims of one person’s poor decisions. In 2014, a woman who was borrowing her friend’s car got drunk, decided to drive, and then, in addition to everything, chose to text and drive while driving drunk. She crashed into another vehicle, paralyzing the other driver and leaving him with traumatic brain injury. The owner of the vehicle had $1 million in insurance, but this wasn’t sufficient to cover the victim’s serious and life-altering injuries. When the owner of the vehicle died, he had left behind his estate, but in the end, the estate ended up going to the victim in the car accident, to cover personal care, home renovations, and therapy.
The accident highlights the real risks of loaning your car to another person. Even though the car’s owner didn’t directly cause the accident, both he and his heirs ended up paying the high price of another person’s actions with the vehicle. According to Minnesota police, many drivers choose to get behind the wheel without proper insurance.
According to MSN, there are many decisions car owners can make that can put them in jeopardy of liability in the event of an accident. There are even some instances where lending your car to a friend and not telling your insurance company could result in your insurance getting cancelled. While insurance will cover a friend if you lend the car to him or her as an occasional driver, insurance won’t cover your friend if he or she borrows your car for a long period of time, or if he or she parks your car at his or her house. In this case, you may have to let your insurance company know. Even lending your car to your children who live in another state could have serious insurance implications, should you child get into a crash. Additionally, if your girlfriend or boyfriend moves in, and plans to drive your car, you may have to let your insurance know. Any household member who drives your car should be on the policy. Finally, if you have excluded a driver from your policy, you could be on hook financially if this person gets behind the wheel.
Personal injury law is complex. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a crash, the Minneapolis, Minnesota auto accident attorneys at the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino may be able to assist you in getting the recovery you may deserve. If you have been hurt due to the negligence of another person, our firm may be able to investigate the case to identify all stakeholders involved. Visit us at https://www.martinmontilino.com/ to learn more.