College student-work part time driving someone’s car no insurance on car and hit another car.

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College student-work part time driving someone’s car no insurance on car and hit another car.

It was alleged that the person failed to yield and hit another car. At the time was not aware car being driven was not insured. Shouldn’t both the driver and owner of the car be responsible? One car has over $3000 damages while the car being driven is possibly totaled. What rights do the college student have?

Asked on May 13, 2009 under Accident Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

The doctrine of permissive use is adopted in most states.  Under this doctrine, the person who owns the car is presumed to have given permission to the non-owner driver unless they prove otherwise.  Therefore, the owner's insurance is the one that is primary and should pay you.  If the owner does not have insurance, you can go to the driver's insurance.  If there is still insufficient coverage then you can trigger you own insurance (i.e. uninsured/underinsured) to take care of the damages.  Make sure you place both insurance companies on notice of the claim and send the police report.  Also, make sure to notify your insurance company that these other companies are involved and that they cold be on the hook.  Go see a lawyer as well if you were injured as you could be entitled to money for pain/suffering in addition to damages to the car.  Lawyers in this area usually take 1/3 of what they collect form you, if they collect at all. 


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