It’s a situation that occurs more often than you may think: Someone who doesn’t have car insurance is in a pinch, and needs a friend to lend them their car. The friend says yes, and then the person gets into a crash. Even worse, the accident hurts another driver. This is a messy situation, to say the least.
If you were in a borrowed car accident with no insurance, it’s understandable if you’re in a state of panic – especially if the collision was your fault. Our Suffolk County car accident attorney with Carner & DeVita may be able to help. Learn more by calling (631) 543-7070 or contacting us online.
Good news/bad news
If there is any good news in this kind of circumstance, it is that car insurance covers the vehicle, not the driver. So, even though the person who lent you the car wasn’t driving, their insurance policy will likely cover the property damage to the other driver’s car.
New York’s “permissive use” law
- The insured party (your friend, in this case)
- The insured’s spouse or child, as long as they reside in the same home as the insured
- Anyone the insured party, or their spouse, permits to drive their car
As long as your friend says you had permission to use the vehicle, insurance should cover the accident.
The bad news is that if your friend didn’t have collision and comprehensive coverage, they may be responsible for paying for the damage to their vehicle.
The other bad news is that you could be sued if the accident you caused resulted in an injury. If the other driver was hurt, they may file a claim for monetary damages for the injuries. If the car you were driving doesn’t provide enough coverage for those injuries, you might be responsible for the difference.
Penalties for driving without insurance in New York
Anyone involved in an accident, or someone who gets pulled over in New York without auto insurance is going to face stiff penalties. You could face a fine of up to $1,500 – and that’s just for the first offense.
If you cause an accident, you could also lose your driver’s license for as long as a year. You could also have to pay a $750 fee to have your license reinstated. To make matters even worse, you might face a few days in jail, and the state could impound the vehicle.
Liability issues involved with driving without insurance
You could be in major trouble if you are at fault in a borrowed car accident with no insurance that results in an injury. As stated earlier, the injured driver may look to bring claims of a lawsuit to recover money damages. In such a case, you can be held responsible for damages caused by the accident.
If the injured driver files a lawsuit against you, personal assets could be at risk. If the court finds you liable, it can issue a judgment against you. This means you could lose your personal property, your money, and possibly a portion of your future wages.
What can you do? Call Carner & DeVita
If you were the driver in a borrowed car accident with no insurance, you will need to get in touch with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. You might think you were at fault for the wreck, but that might not actually be the case. A lawyer can investigate to determine exactly what happened. There could have been another motorist who was actually to blame, or a defective component in the car you were driving might have failed.
A skilled legal representative will look for any avenue possible to help you avoid the worst-case scenario mentioned above. While no reputable attorney will ever make any promises, they’ll do everything they can on your behalf.