If you were in a Fort Lauderdale car accident in someone else’s car, you may recover damages under various insurance policies. You may be eligible for benefits under the vehicle owner’s personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. You may also qualify for property damage liability insurance benefits.
To find out more about Florida insurance coverage after an accident, call the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine at 800-747-3733. Our experienced staff can assist you with your insurance claims and help you recover the damages you deserve.
I Got Into an Accident in Someone Else’s Car. How Will I Get Damages?
If you were in another person’s vehicle at the time of the accident, you may recover compensation for your injuries and damages under one or more of the following insurance policies.
Under state law, all Florida motorists must carry a minimum of $10,000 of PIP insurance coverage. If you are in an accident, your PIP insurance will award you up to $10,000 in damages for lost wages and medical expenses, regardless of who was at fault. This is true even if you were in someone else’s car at the time of the crash.
PIP insurance covers the following people:
- The vehicle owner, even if they were on foot or riding a bicycle at the time of the accident;
- Relatives who live the same house as the vehicle owner and are related by blood or marriage;
- Passengers who do not have their own PIP coverage; and
- Parties that drive your car with your permission.
Generally, if you have your own vehicle—and, therefore, you have your own PIP insurance policy—your insurance will cover your accident-related expenses. That is true even if you were in someone else’s car at the time of the accident.
If you are a driver or passenger in someone else’s car and do not own a vehicle, however, you may not have your own PIP insurance. In such cases, you can recover benefits under the driver’s or vehicle owner’s PIP insurance, according to Fla. Stat. 627.732.
Medical Payments Coverage (MPC)
While PIP benefits cover lost wages and medical expenses, MPC insurance only covers medical costs, regardless of fault. If you are a passenger in a vehicle whose owner carries an MPC policy, it may cover your injuries.
Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) Insurance
While BIL coverage is voluntary, if the at-fault driver has it, their policy may pay your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages—up to the driver’s coverage limit.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Insurance
A UM/UIM policy can pay for your injuries and damages if the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance coverage to pay for your damages—or if they do not have insurance at all. If you do not have UM/UIM insurance coverage yourself, you may receive coverage under a family member’s policy.
If I Was Driving Someone Else’s Car and Caused an Accident, Is the Vehicle Owner Liable for Damages?
If you cause a crash while driving someone else’s car, you may be liable for damages. Additionally, the person who owns your vehicle may have a legal duty to cover damages for people injured in the crash under Florida’s dangerous instrumentality doctrine. If an uninsured driver causes an accident, this doctrine protects injured victims and allows them to recover damages from the at-fault vehicle’s owner.
Generally, an owner who allows someone else to drive their vehicle is vicariously liable for their negligence behind the wheel. However, if the vehicle owner did not give you permission to drive the vehicle at the time of the accident, they may not be liable for any accident-related damages.
They will need to prove that they were not exercising control over the vehicle when the accident occurred. The owner can also exclude certain drivers from their insurance policy due to their poor driving record. The owner may not be liable for the excluded driver’s accidents in such cases.
Getting Into a Car Accident in a Borrowed or Rented Vehicle
Getting into a car accident while driving another person’s car, whether it’s borrowed from a friend or family member or rented from a company, can create confusion around liability and insurance coverage. Here’s what you need to know if you get into a crash while operating a vehicle that doesn’t belong to you.
First, notify the owner of the vehicle as soon as possible and provide details about the accident and any property damage to their car. You’ll also need to work with them to go through their insurance provider for collision coverage and repairs. Their insurer will likely require a statement from you describing the accident before covering any vehicle damage.
Next, if the accident was your fault, the other driver(s) involved may choose to pursue a claim or lawsuit against you for their injuries or property damage. In this case, your own auto liability insurance would provide coverage for their damages up to your policy limits. Be sure to notify your insurance provider about the accident promptly.
Finally, if you sustained any injuries in the crash, you can pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance for medical costs, lost income, and other damages. If the accident was partly or fully the other driver’s fault, their liability coverage should extend to you as the second vehicle’s driver. An attorney can help you claim damages in these situations.
Borrowing or renting a car adds complexity if you get into an accident, but working promptly with the owner’s insurer and being knowledgeable about liability laws in that state can help smooth the claims process. Notify all involved insurers right away, document evidence from the scene, seek medical attention immediately, and consult an attorney to protect your rights after any accident in a non-owned vehicle.
How Can I Talk to a Lawyer About My Case?
At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, we know that Florida car accident laws can be complex—especially if you were in someone else’s vehicle at the time of the crash.
Many people expect to receive coverage under a certain insurance policy, only to receive a denial for their claim. Our attorneys are very familiar with the various types of auto insurance policies available in the state. We can use this knowledge to file for coverage with the appropriate policy and assist you throughout the claims process. If you have questions about insurance coverage in Florida or need help filing your claim, contact us today at 800-747-3733.
We Can Help.