Can I be liable if a friend crashes my vehicle?

Good friends often lend items to each other. But what happens when you let your friend use your car and a crash occurs? To this end, California drivers should be aware of all relevant laws pertaining to accidents involving borrowed vehicles to prevent ruined friendships and much worse from occurring.

Esurance elaborates on one of the most prevalent myths regarding borrowed vehicles. While many people believe that whoever is driving is ultimately responsible for any accidents that occur, this is not actually the case. As the owner, you could in fact be held financially liable for crashes involving your vehicle, regardless of who was driving at the time. In the event that a collision is the fault of the person borrowing your car, your insurance record will be affected as though you were the one behind the wheel.

If your friend has an insurance policy in place, he or she may be responsible for covering any medical bills or personal liability costs. The coverage may also be required to fill in any gaps that exist in your insurance. In cases where your friend is without any type of insurance coverage, you will ultimately be responsible for all damages and injuries occurring as a result of the accident.

Some states, including California, allow you, as a policy holder, to exclude certain drivers from receiving coverage on your policy in order to increase savings on insurance costs. However, should an excluded driver be involved in an accident with your vehicle, full responsibility will ultimately revert back to you. You can also choose to include other drivers on your policy, such as spouses and other relatives. This will extend coverage to listed drivers and prevent you from incurring high costs and legal penalties due to someone else’s negligence. Needs a disclaimer since you are talking about financial liability here.