Vehicle owners occasionally lend their vehicles to friends and family members in case of an emergency or for a few days at a time. What happens, though, if the person driving the automobile is involved in an accident in Georgia and suffers injuries? Who is responsible for those injuries?
If you have been harmed in a collision with someone else’s car, please contact one of our Georgia traffic accident attorneys. Individuals injured in an accident in Georgia involving rented cars are eligible for free consultations with our attorneys.
We will go through borrowed car accident liability in more depth below. Please contact us if you have any inquiries about accident compensation.
According to the Crash Analysis, Statistics and Information Notebook 2008 prepared by the Georgia Department of Transportation, the following statistics were reported:
- Number of traffic accidents: 342,534
- Traffic accident injuries: 133,555
- Number of traffic fatalities: 1,703
- Crashes per day: 1,198
Was the Driver Allowed to Borrow The Car?
Determining whether the owner of the car expressly permitted the at-fault driver to borrow the vehicle is one of the most significant factors while determining liability for a borrowed vehicle. If the owner of a vehicle knowingly lends their vehicle to a party involved in an accident in Georgia, then they will generally be liable for the damage.
There are cases when loans are not given directly by the owner of the vehicle. Instead, implied permission is granted. It may be implied that a person who frequently lends their car to a roommate or sibling and leaves the keys in a common area of the house has already given consent for that roommate to borrow the vehicle.
The owner of a vehicle who leases it to someone with a history of reckless driving or another negligent behavior may be considered negligent because the owner knew the person was more likely to cause an accident in Georgia. This is because reckless driving is often the cause of accidents. As an example, the theory of negligent entrustment covers the circumstances in which a person lends their car to an individual with a history of drunk driving.
How About the Excluded Drivers?
All policyholders are required to list all licensed drivers in their household in their auto insurance policy. Policyholders can then list persons as included or excluded drivers. Individuals are not covered in the insurance policy if they are listed as excluded drivers. An accident in Georgia that is caused due to an excluded driver who was always granted permission by the vehicle owner may lead to insurance companies refuting all liability.
What Happens If the Vehicle Was Stolen?
When you are struck by a stolen vehicle, the owner is not liable for the damages caused by the collision. However, if the owner can prove the vehicle was stolen before the crash, then the owner has the burden of proving that it was stolen.
Whose Insurance Covers an Albany Car Accident?
As with most states in the U.S., Georgia assigns liability to one or both parties involved in a traffic accident according whichever one or both is most responsible. There are times when both parties involved have played their parts, so you can assign error rates in a traffic accident through the proportional comparative error. This is necessary since you can assign error rates to either party involved in a traffic accident. Among the possible scenarios are:
- There is a single negligent driver
- There is a shared responsibility for the accident between the drivers
- In different combinations of proportions, one driver is 80 percent at fault, the other is 20 percent at fault.
What If the Responsible Insurer Refuses to Pay?
Certainly, if you have an accident in Georgia in which you borrowed a car, the insurance company that might be responsible will do everything they can to deny your claim. The insurance company could claim that the driver was not covered by the policy. A liability insurance policyholder who is not driving the vehicle at the time of the accident may consider this a reason to deny coverage.
Speak to Our Georgia Accident Lawyers:
To protect your rights, it would be helpful if you consulted with an experienced lawyer if you have been injured in an accident due to a reckless driver in a borrowed car. Our Georgia car accident attorneys have recovered thousands of dollars for injured victims, including medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.