In a Borrowed Car Accident in Florida, Who is Held Liable?

by Dec 17, 2020Auto Accident, Car Accidents, Hit and Run Accident

In a Borrowed Car Accident in Florida, Who is Held Liable?

by Dec 17, 2020Auto Accident, Car Accidents, Hit and Run Accident

In a Borrowed Car Accident in Florida, Who is Held Liable
In a Borrowed Car Accident in Florida, Who is Held Liable

If you’re involved in a borrowed car accident in Florida, who is responsible? who pays?

You are a careful driver. You also take care of your vehicle to prevent any breakdowns or mishaps that may cause an accident. Unfortunately, not everyone is as careful when they get behind the wheel. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else, your first response may be to seek compensation from them. If you later find out that the person who hit you was in a car borrowed from someone else, then you will need to learn all the legal implications of this fact.

A borrowed car accident in Florida is not always straightforward. And if you were injured in a car accident of this kind, you must first establish who is liable for the damages done to your vehicle and the injuries sustained by you.

Cases like these can be complex. That is why you should hire a personal injury lawyer to help you get the compensation you are entitled to.

The First Question to Ask

This first fact that must be established is whether the person who hit you had permission to borrow the car. Permission can be defined in the following ways:

1. Written

It is not often that the lender and borrower set down a written agreement, but it can happen. In any case, written proof can also be ascertained through an email, text message, or social media post.

2. Verbal

This is the way that most people lend their car. If the lender gave their permission verbally, then they will need to attest to this fact.

3. Implied

When someone regularly borrows a car, the lender does not always explicitly give them permission. Implied permission can be ascertained through giving the borrower the keys and other such habitual acts.

A driver who takes someone’s car without their permission and then crashes into another vehicle can face criminal charges alongside civil liabilities.

The Second Question to Ask

The next question to ask is whether the borrowed car has insurance. If it does, you may find it a little simpler to get compensation. If the car is uninsured, things get more complex. A person who has borrowed a car that is uninsured may be breaking the law. Both the borrower and lender can be held criminally liable if you or your loved ones are hurt in the accident.

In the event of a serious borrowed car accident in Florida, your main concern will be with the financial consequences of the event. If you are like most people, you do not have the money required to deal with it. And if the other driver is without insurance, then you will need to pursue other options for your recovery.

Putting Your Life Together After an Accident

A car accident can cause injuries that can significantly alter your life. The most serious type of car crash will put you in the hospital for some time. You may not even remember being transported to the emergency room and receiving medical treatment. But a series of invasive procedures could be needed to make you whole and healthy again.

In such accidents, saving your life is only the first part. The next and equally difficult part is the recovery. Even when you have regained consciousness and are on the mend, it may be impossible for you to return to work immediately. And if your injuries caused a permanent disability, you may not be able to return to work at all. You will also need to go through a period of rehabilitation. You may need to regain your balance or even learn to walk again.

Doing all this takes time and money. If you have been on your back for some months, you will not be able to earn revenue. You may also fall behind on your regular bills, which will make things even harder.

If you have been put in this situation because of someone else’s negligence, if you are the victim of a borrowed car accident in Florida, it is right for you to hold them accountable.

What a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do for You

As you recover and regain your strength, you will want your loved ones around you. But you will eventually have to face certain financial facts. And the only person who can help you with that is a personal injury attorney. You need not be frightened or worried by the knowledge that the person who caused the accident was in a borrowed car or that they were uninsured. Your lawyer will pursue compensation for you regardless of these facts, and they have several options.

Your attorney may seek damages from your own insurance company. All insurance companies do their utmost to minimize the amount of money they must pay out in claims. Your lawyer also has the option of filing a lawsuit against the other driver or the owner of the car. This can be a promising path if the persons at fault have money or assets that can offset your medical bills. It is not so good if they are without the means to settle the suit.

If the borrower of the car cannot pay but the lender can, then your lawyer will file suit against the latter. To get money from them, you will have to prove that they were negligent in their decision to loan the car to the person who caused the accident. Your attorney will need to prove negligent entrustment. This means that the lender knew that the person who borrowed the car would use it in a way that could cause harm to others.

Here are some of the instances in which negligent entrustment can be argued:

  • The borrower has a record of citations for reckless driving
  • The borrower is underage
  • The borrower is without a driver’s license or has had it suspended
  • The borrower was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time the vehicle was lent

The Final Option

If you cannot prove that the owner of the vehicle was negligent in lending the car or the car is uninsured and neither the driver nor owner has the money to settle your claim, you may need to sue your own insurance company to get the money you require. This is a bold and aggressive step. It is also a difficult one, as insurance companies have armies of attorneys to fend off such lawsuits.

However, the aim of courts and juries is to deliver justice. If your particular circumstances are desperate and no one can or will help, then it is right for you to turn to the legal system. Your lawyer can build a case for why your own insurance company should pay all or most of your economic and non-economic damages.

Your case will be especially strong if you have taken out car insurance that protects you against uninsured drivers and your insurer has rejected your claim on a technicality. Insurance companies often take these sorts of actions and personal injury lawyers know how to use the law to have them reversed.

Your lawyer will subpoena all documents related to the decision to reject your claim. They will also depose everyone involved in making the decision to refuse it. Your lawyer will subject the decision to the most rigorous legal scrutiny and find precedents that show the decision to be unjust and unlawful.

The case need not go to court. If your attorney has the right skill, experience, and expertise, they will gather together more than enough evidence to compel your insurer to settle rather than face a jury that may find against them.

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