When you get into your automobile, you probably buckle your seatbelt before you put the car in gear. Why? To protect yourself in case of an accident, of course. You aren’t planning to have a car crash, but you buckle up anyway—just in case.
Similarly, you should take steps to protect yourself if you loan someone your car. In most cases, you are not responsible for injuries caused by someone else driving your car. However, in certain circumstances, you may be responsible.
Before Handing Over the Keys
Before you let a friend, family member or colleague drive your car, you can limit your possible liability in the event of an accident if you ask questions and place certain limitations on the driver. By being proactive, you are protecting yourself from the possibility of liability in an accident.
- Ask the driver if he or she has a valid driver’s license.
- Make sure the driver isn’t under the influence of drugs, medication or alcohol.
- Let the driver know he or she isn’t permitted to drive your car while under the influence as above.
- State that your permission is for this driver only, and he or she is not free to let anyone else drive your vehicle.
These points may seem common sense, but you should not assume they’re understood, any more than you should assume you won’t need your seatbelt during your next ride to the supermarket.
In the event of an injury-causing accident, you don’t want responsibility for someone else’s negligence to legally pass to you. That can happen if you let someone drive your car if you knew or should have known that person would pose a danger to others on the road. By asking a few questions, you can protect yourself from a liability claim in the event of a crash.