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Loaning Your Car? Protect Yourself

Updated June 29, 2022 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

When you get into your automobile, you probably buckle your seat belt 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.

Make sure you follow these guidelines:

  • Ask the driver if they have a valid driver’s license
  • Make sure the driver isn’t under the influence of drugs, medication, or alcohol
  • Let the driver know they aren’t permitted to drive your car while under the influence
  • State that your permission is for this driver only, and they are not free to let anyone else drive your vehicle

These points may seem like common sense, but you should not assume they’re understood, any more than you should assume you won’t need your seat belt during your next ride to the supermarket.

Liability After an Accident

If drivers act negligently and cause a crash, they are usually held responsible for financial damages resulting from the collision. However, there are some situations in which the owner of the vehicle can be found liable even if another person was driving.

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.

Contact an Auto Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a car accident, you are urged to contact the attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. An Indianapolis car accident lawyer from WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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