Sometimes we borrow someone’s car because our vehicle is not available. But what happens if you are in an accident while driving someone else’s car in New York City? Do you know what to do to protect yourself and your right to recover compensation for damages?

Report the Car Accident To the Police

First things first, report the car crash to the police by calling 911. Police officers respond to the scene to complete a car accident report. If the police do not respond to the crash, you are responsible for filing a crash report within ten days of the accident date.

It is always wise to be checked by emergency medical services and a doctor after a car accident. Documenting your injuries is crucial for recovering compensation for damages caused by a car wreck.

Report the Car Accident To the Owner

New York requires all car owners to obtain minimum amounts of car insurance coverage. Drivers in New York City must have car insurance coverage that includes:

  • $10,000 for property damage
  • $25,000 for bodily injury ($50,000 for a death) for one person 
  • $50,000 for bodily injury ($100,000 for deaths) of two or more people 

In most cases, car insurance coverage follows the vehicle. Therefore, the owner’s insurance company should be liable for damages if you cause a car accident. However, the insurance company may deny coverage if you do not have permission to drive the vehicle.

Likewise, the insurance company may deny the claim if you drive the vehicle routinely and are not listed as an authorized driver. Not listing all drivers on the insurance policy to save money on insurance premiums could result in a breach of contract. Borrowing a person’s car every once in a while is different from being a regular driver.

Filing a Claim Against the Driver Who Hit You While You Were Driving Someone Else’s Car in New York City

The same liability laws apply whether you were driving your car or a borrowed vehicle. If the other driver caused the car accident, you could pursue a personal injury claim against that driver. 

The vehicle owner files the property damage claim for the vehicle. The owner deals with the insurance company to settle the property damage claim. However, you can file a claim for personal injury damages.

Damages for a car accident generally include economic damages. These monetary losses include, but are not limited to:

You may also receive compensation for your non-economic damages. These damages can include the physical pain and suffering you experienced because of the crash. They also include emotional distress, permanent disabilities, and decreased quality of life.

What Happens if the Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance Coverage?

If the driver who hits you is not insured, you may receive compensation from the owner’s insurance company if they have uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage compensates you for your losses and damages as if the company insured the at-fault driver. 

You have the burden of proving the other driver caused the crash before you can recover money for an uninsured motorist claim. 

That said, you may also be entitled to compensation under the vehicle owner’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. PIP is no-fault insurance coverage that pays for medical bills and lost wages after a car accident. The compensation is limited, but it can provide some monetary relief after a car accident.

Do I Need a Lawyer if Another Driver Hits Me While Driving a Borrowed Vehicle?

It is always wise to seek legal advice from an experienced car accident lawyer. Insurance companies try to avoid liability for car accident claims. Therefore, trusting the insurance adjuster to advise you in your best interest is not a good choice. 

Also, car accidents involving borrowed vehicles can be complicated. There could be several options for compensation for damages. However, you must prove causation and fault to receive compensation under a liability insurance policy.

Sorting out the insurance coverage that applies in your case could be confusing. An NYC car accident lawyer understands insurance coverage. An attorney can verify coverage, file insurance claims, and handle all matters related to the insurance claims.

The goal is to obtain the maximum compensation available for your injuries and damages. Unfortunately, when you are driving someone else’s car, it complicates matters. However, an experienced personal injury lawyer can cut through the complications to get you the money you deserve after a car crash.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in New York City

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Manhattan, NY, and need legal help, contact our New York City car accident lawyers at Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. to schedule a free consultation.

Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C.
100 Wall St 15th Floor
New York, NY 10005
(212) 514-5007