Being in a car accident can be devastating, but it gets even more stressful when you’ve borrowed someone else’s car and experience a crash. You may be wondering who is responsible for the damages.
You don’t have to deal with this alone. Learn more how an experienced car accident lawyer can help you understand your circumstances and figure out how to recover compensation for your losses.
Chicago Insurance Laws for Drivers
Chicago insurance laws for drivers are the same as Illinois insurance laws for drivers. All motor vehicles registered and operated in Illinois must be covered by liability insurance, which covers property damage and injuries you may cause others in a crash.
The Illinois mandatory auto liability statute doesn’t require you to carry collision and comprehensive coverage, but if you have a loan on your vehicle, your lender will probably require it.
According to the Illinois Secretary of State, the minimum liability insurance requirements in Illinois are:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in a crash.
- $50,000 for injury or death of more than one person in a crash.
- $20,000 for damage to the property of another person.
Whose Insurance Covers a Vehicle?
In Illinois, insurance follows the vehicle. If your friend loaned you a car, their insurer would be responsible for any accidents that happen in that vehicle – even if you were driving. If you have permission to use the car, the owner will be responsible.
What If the Damages Exceed the Policy Limits?
If the losses sustained by the victims in a car accident exceed insurance policy limits, then you may be responsible for any excess damages. The victims may file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver or owner of the vehicle to recover the money they could not get from the insurance company.
For example, if the victim of a car crash had $50,000 in medical bills, but you only had state minimum coverage of $25,000 per person in a crash, then you would be on the hook for the additional $25,000.
When Am I Covered by the Owner’s Insurance?
If you were given permission to drive the car, then you will be covered by the vehicle owner’s insurance. Other circumstances of coverage include if you are an immediate family member or if you were listed on the insurance policy.
If you are not covered by the car owner’s insurance, then the victim may file a car accident lawsuit against you personally to recover damages.
What to Do After an Accident in Someone Else’s Car
The first thing you should do is stay calm and assess the situation. Make sure that you and anyone else involved in the accident are safe. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. If you can move the cars to a safe location, do so. If not, turn on your hazard lights and wait for help to arrive.
Once you have made sure that everyone is safe, you should exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident. Give them your name, address, phone number, and insurance information. You should also take pictures of the damage to both vehicles.
If you are driving someone else’s car, you should contact the owner of the vehicle as soon as possible to let them know about the accident. You will also need to file an insurance claim with their insurance company.
One of the most important steps you must remember is contacting a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. The insurance company may deny your claim or try to push liability onto you. You need someone on your side to handle the legal details and communicate with the other parties.
FAQs About Chicago Car Accidents
You likely have many questions about car accidents in Chicago. We have answers. If you don’t see your question here, you can contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. to speak to an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer.
What Is Negligent Entrustment?
Negligent entrustment is a legal term that refers to the act of entrusting a dangerous instrumentality, such as a motor vehicle, to someone who is known or should be known to be incompetent or reckless. If the person entrusted with the instrumentality causes harm to another person, the person who entrusted them may be held liable for negligence.
Can an Employer Be Held Responsible If I Was Driving a Work Vehicle?
An employer can be held responsible if you had an accident in a work vehicle, under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior. This doctrine states that an employer is liable for the negligent acts of its employees committed while they are acting within the scope of their employment.
Who Is Responsible If My Teen Was Driving the Vehicle?
In most cases, the teen driver will be held responsible for a car accident if they are the one who caused it. However, there are some situations where the parents or guardians of the teen driver may also be held liable.
For example, parents may be held liable under the legal doctrine of negligent entrustment if they knew or should have known that their teen was a dangerous driver and allowed them to drive anyway. This could be the case if the teen has a history of traffic violations or reckless driving.
Parents may also be held liable if they are the owners of the car that the teen was driving at the time of the accident. This is because, in most states, the owner of a vehicle is vicariously liable for the negligent acts of anyone who is driving the vehicle with their permission.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
A personal injury lawyer can help you in a number of ways after a car accident, including:
- Investigating the accident:A personal injury lawyer can investigate the accident to determine who was at fault and what caused the accident. This may involve gathering evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and medical records.
- Filing a claim with the insurance company: A personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim with the insurance company of the driver who was at fault for the accident. The lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve.
- Filing a lawsuit:If the insurance company is unwilling to offer a fair settlement, a personal injury lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf. The lawyer will represent you in court and fight for your rights.
It’s important to work closely with a Chicago car accident lawyer who can guide you through the legal process.
Call A Chicago Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents can be confusing and adding questions about whose insurance is going to cover things makes them even more challenging. You should get help from an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.
Our legal team routinely helps victims of car accidents, even when they were driving someone else’s vehicle. We can explain the law to you and help you get the compensation you need to move forward with life. Call us today at (312) 236-2900 or use our online form to schedule a consultation of your case.