We’ve all been there. Maybe someone blocked you in at a party, and they toss you the keys to move their car. Maybe you let someone take your car to run an errand. Whatever the reason, you’ve probably taken someone else’s car for a quick spin, or maybe the other way around.
What you probably don’t expect in those situations is to get in an accident. Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan.
If someone got into an accident while driving your car, you might be thinking, “Now what?” Our Austin-based team of car accident lawyers at Stewart Law Firm has the answer. Keep reading to learn how to proceed in this situation.
Types of Automobile Insurance in Texas
If someone driving your car got into an accident, you might wonder, “Will my insurance cover the accident? Will theirs?” That might depend on the accident, and what type of insurance you have.
Here are some types of automobile insurance you might have:
- Liability Insurance: Covers both the cost of medical bills and property damage. Useful for individuals who are at fault in accidents.
- Personal Injury protection: Covers medical expenses of the driver and sometimes passengers. Sometimes covers wages lost due to injuries.
- Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist Protection: Covers medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages for drivers and passengers. Helpful in a hit and run.
- Collision Insurance: Covers repairs to your car at the expense of your insurer, who will pay you the value of your car before the accident.
Comprehensive Insurance: Can be expensive, but covers a variety of damages beyond crashes, such as water damage and theft.
Permissive Use Insurance Coverage
In addition to the types of insurance listed above, you may have permissive use insurance. This is an umbrella that can apply to other types of insurance.
Under permissive use insurance, you as the policyholder have the power to give others permission to use your vehicle – including people who aren’t listed on your policy. With a strong permissive use rule, then your insurance may cover damages incurred by another driver on your vehicle.
Not all car or truck insurance policies have permissive use, so if someone driving your vehicle was in an accident, then you need to see if your policy covers permissive use, or if there are stipulations around the permissive use policy.
If you did not grant an individual permission – whether verbal, written or implied – to drive your car, then it could be considered a stolen vehicle. In that situation, their insurance may be required to cover the accident.
Named Driver Auto Insurance Policy
In 2020, Texas passed House Bill 259. Since this bill was passed, insurance covers the vehicle, instead of the driver.
House Bill 259 banned “named driver policies,” which only provided coverage to parties listed specifically on the policy.
These policies were banned for situations like we’ve discussed. If someone is driving your car, but isn’t on your policy, your insurance should be more likely to cover damages incurred during the accident.
What to do after a car accident in Texas
- Stop driving: Stay at the scene until law enforcement or other officials arrive.
- Check if urgent medical attention is needed: Make sure no passengers, drivers or pedestrians need any immediate medical attention, and if anyone is injured then call 911.
- Take pictures: Take pictures of the accident before moving your cars from the scene. Be sure to capture injuries, different angles of the accident, your car, the other car(s), and where the accident occurred.
- Report the case: Report the accident to the police, so they can document the incident in an accident report.
- Exchange information: Exchange information with everyone involved in the accident.
- Consult a car accident attorney: If you want to seek compensation for damages, or if you are facing a case, then you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.
Contact The Stewart Law Firm in Texas
Here at The Stewart Law Firm, we understand everything that a car accident can take away from you – from time to money to your life with people you love. But we’re here to help you fight for the justice you deserve. Stephen Stewart and the team can promise you the time it takes to review your case, look at every possible angle, and get full justice for any damages.
Let us get to know you and your situation. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.