In the event of an accident involving a borrowed vehicle in Maryland, who could be held responsible?
Many people who borrow cars—as well as the owners who let them—don't always understand the implications of insurance and responsibility.
It's astonishing how few people are aware of who is responsible for damage when a friend's automobile is involved. There is a widespread misconception that auto insurance is personal to the driver. In actuality, insurance is connected to the car.
In Maryland, if you get into an accident while driving someone else's car, the driver is considered to be the owner's representative.
This means that the driver is responsible for any damages or injuries that occur during the accident. However, if you are the owner of the car and you have given someone explicit permission to borrow it, you may still be held responsible for any damages or injuries that occur in an accident. It is important to carefully consider the responsibility of the borrower before lending out your car.
If you borrow a car from your brother and get into an accident, your brother’s insurance policy would typically cover the costs of any property damage and personal injury claims. However, this could result in your brother having to pay higher insurance premiums. It's also important to note that if you cause an accident while driving someone else's car in Maryland, there is a possibility that the driver, as well as other people, may be injured and the vehicle may be damaged. In this situation, it may be necessary to seek the assistance of a Maryland personal injury attorney
The insurance policy of the automobile owner will be primarily responsible for covering the costs of the accident if someone else who is driving your car is hurt in it.
However, a portion of the claim can also be covered by the driver's insurance coverage. For instance, the Medical Payments Coverage (Med Pay) of the driver's insurance may pay up to its policy limits and the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage of the car owner's policy may pay up to the policy limits regardless of fault. Additionally, claims that exceed the limitations of the car owner's policy can be covered by the liability insurance coverage of the driver's policy. For additional information on this, contact a Maryland personal injury attorney.
In Maryland, the owner's insurance policy will serve as the primary source of liability protection in the event that someone else is hurt while operating a borrowed vehicle.
Secondary insurance will be the driver's liability insurance. This means that the driver's policy may pay the balance if the damages brought on by the collision exceed the limitations of the automobile owner's policy.
You should be aware that if you lend out your automobile to someone and they cause an accident that results in injuries to other people, your insurance premiums might go up by many.
If a car owner discovers that a careless driver has caused an accident while driving their vehicle, they may be held liable for the accident under the legal concept of Negligent Entrustment in Maryland.
This means that even if the owner was not driving or in the vehicle at the time of the accident, they may still be held responsible if they should not have allowed the driver to use the vehicle. Examples of negligent entrustment include lending a car to a person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, allowing a minor or a person with a suspended license to drive, lending a car to a person with a history of traffic violations and accidents, or lending a car to an elderly driver whose license has been suspended.
If your car is stolen in Maryland and is involved in a collision, you generally should not be held responsible for any damages or injuries caused by the thief.
You can use the fact that your car was stolen as a defense in court if someone tries to hold you accountable. It's important to report the theft to the police as soon as possible. If you have comprehensive insurance coverage, your insurance company should cover the damages to your car caused by the thief.
In rare cases, someone injured in a collision caused by a stolen car may try to sue the owner of the car, alleging that the owner was negligent in leaving the keys in the car or failing to insure the vehicle. However, it is the responsibility of the person suing to prove that the car owner is liable.
If the car thief does not have insurance, or if they flee the scene of the accident, victims of the collision may have to file a claim for their injuries under their own UM/UIM insurance, which covers injuries caused by uninsured or underinsured drivers. In this case, the victim's own insurance company would be the target of the claim.
If you were hurt in a Maryland vehicle accident and need legal representation, you may schedule a free initial consultation with us. All situations are diverse and unique, and this site is not meant to provide legal advice. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +1 (410) 876 4500.