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Suppose a friend asks to borrow your car for a quick trip to the market? Her car is in the shop, and she forgot to pick up cereal and milk for the children’s breakfast. No problem, you say, and you hand over the keys.

She’s been gone only a short while when your phone rings, “Hello, I’ve wrecked your car. I’m so sorry; I think it’s pretty bad.”

After making sure that she is okay, you wonder – who will pay for the damages to my new car?

The answer is: it depends on the facts and circumstances of the wreck.

If you loan the car to a friend and that friend damages the car, even totals it, and they did it through their fault or negligence, they may well be responsible for paying for the damages.

Hopefully, you have collision insurance on the car, which will take care of it. But when all is said and done – they are liable for the damages.

On the other hand, if someone ran into the friend and the wreck was not their fault, the at-fault driver would be responsible; your friend would not.

There is also a misconception about loaning your car to a friend – your friend causes the wreck so their insurance pays. That is not true.

If my friend causes the wreck in my car through his own carelessness and I have collision insurance – it still comes back to my insurance company to cover any damages.

Even though the friend has insurance, it doesn’t go through his or her insurance, which is important to know.

What most people don’t understand – it doesn’t matter whether or not the person who causes the damages or injuries has insurance, they are primarily the person at fault. So, even though that person may not have insurance, they may be personally responsible for the injuries and bills.

If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find and attorney in your area.

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