A Friend Crashed My Car...

by Jay
(Mamaroneck, New York, USA)

A friend was driving my car without a license and they crashed into another vehicle. No one was hurt but the other driver is reporting the claim to his auto insurance company. When I got to the scene of the accident I gave the cop my insurance information.

I'm wondering what is going to happen in this situation. Can you give me any information regarding how this will play out? Am I going to be responsible for the repairs? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney.

ANSWER for "A Friend Crashed My Car...":

Jay (Mamaroneck, New York, USA):

Yes, you will be responsible for the repairs. Fortunately as long as you have sufficient insurance coverage - and you probably do - you have nothing to worry about.

You don't have to be too concerned with allowing your unlicensed friend to drive your car. Fortunately no one was injured. If there had been some serious injuries and there was proof you allowed an unlicensed driver to drive your car your troubles could be much greater.

What happens next is pretty simple and hardly painful at all...

The driver of the damaged car will contact your insurance company. An adjuster from your insurance company will call you and ask for your recorded statement. The adjuster will ask you for permission to record the statement. You don't have to agree, but not doing so might be considered as failure to cooperate with your insurance company. That could result in your policy not being renewed.

There's nothing wrong with giving your recorded statement. As long as you tell the truth you have nothing to worry about.

The adjuster will probably also want to take your friend's recorded statement. That will be entirely up to your friend to decide if he wants to give his statement. His not doing so shouldn't have any effect on your policy. The adjuster may also want to take the statement of the other driver and may want to look at your car as well. You should cooperate fully.

Once the adjuster surveys the damage to both cars and has the recorded statements, she will pay for repairs to the other driver's car. That should be the end of the claim.

You probably won't know when the claim is settled. That's fine. Adjusters usually don't call the policy holders at the conclusion of the claim.

If your record is relatively clean and you don't have a prior history of claims, your policy may not be adversely affected. If you do have a history you may not be so lucky.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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