One question we frequently receive from clients is if they let a family member, friend, or roommate borrow their vehicle, will they then be liable for damages if that individual gets into a car accident? Unfortunately, there is no straight answer to this question as whether you are liable can depend on a number of different factors.
Some of these factors include:
It is important to note that New York is a no-fault insurance state. What this means is that your insurance covers your medical expenses, lost wages, and other incidental expenses no matter who is at fault for the accident. It also means that in most cases, your insurance policy will follow your car, not the driver, so if your friend borrows your car and gets into an accident, your insurance will be the primary coverage that will apply. But as mentioned, what actually is covered will depend on the facts and circumstances of the accident. Make sure you understand your insurance policy, including what is covered and the policy limits, and while the best way to avoid any liability is to not lend your car to anyone, if you must, use discretion and caution when deciding who can drive your vehicle.
If someone else was driving your car and in an accident in New York, you should seriously consider consulting with an experienced Long Island car accident attorney right away, as you may be liable for damages that you personally did not cause. Call the personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP at (516) 358-6900 to learn more about what we can do for you. For your convenience, we are available 24/7. Let us help you put your life back together!