If you are driving another person’s car or someone else is borrowing yours at the time of an accident, you are likely wondering, “who is liable in a car accident with a borrowed car?” You’re not alone. Thousands of people search the internet and consult their car accident attorney searching for the same answer every day. 


In California, the insurance policy is attached to the vehicle and the person operating it, not the owner. However, the owner’s insurance coverage acts as the primary policy (so long as the person has permission to drive the vehicle). 


The car owner’s insurance policy is liable only if they’ve given the other person consent to drive their car. Otherwise, the insurance is not viable. 


Learn more below. 

What The Difference Between Primary and Secondary Coverage?

Suppose you let a friend or family member borrow your car, and they cause an accident that causes injuries. In that case, the primary liability coverage is the vehicle owner’s car insurance. 


The secondary coverage (which acts as a safety valve) belongs to the person operating the car at the time of the accident. That means that your insurance will cover recoverable damages up to their limit, and their insurance will handle any additional costs. 

What is Negligent Entrustment? 

Allowing someone else to borrow your car, who is not legally or physically capable of safely operating the vehicle, is considered negligent entrustment. If you are negligent in giving someone permission to drive your car and they cause an accident that injuries another person, you could be held liable for negligent entrustment. 


Consequences for this type of negligence usually involve damages awarded to the victim for losses they’ve suffered as a result of the injuries. 

What if the Person Driving Didn’t Have Permission?

If the driver borrowed the car without permission or it was stolen at the time of the accident, then the car owner’s insurance will not cover injuries sustained as a result of the collision. That includes the driver and the victims. 


When the vehicle driver doesn’t have permission to drive the car, and they get into a car accident, causing injuries, their insurance policy provides the primary coverage. 


If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by a driver borrowing someone else’s car, it’s in your best interest to contact a proven car accident attorney in Los Angeles as soon as possible. 

Contact Steinberg Injury Lawyers Today

California car insurance laws, the claims process, and recovering damages can be complicated when the person who caused the accident doesn’t own the vehicle. 


A skilled car accident attorney understands how to prove liability, identify the insurance policy covering the accident, and get you the compensation you deserve. 


At Steinberg Injury Lawyers, we’re mentioned among the best car accident attorneys for a reason. We fight for maximum compensation for all of our clients. 


Don’t wait until it’s too late to pursue damages. Contact us today or give us a call to schedule your free initial consultation. 

Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982
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