Nine times out of ten, the people who get into a motor vehicle accident own the car that they were driving at the time of the crash. Either the owner of the car was driving it, or their spouse may have been driving the vehicle. In either case, as any Baltimore injury attorney knows, you wouldn’t really have to worry about insurance covering the accident.
But sometimes, we meet with a client who was hit by somebody who was driving a car they have borrowed from a friend or family member. Sometimes, the person who caused the crash had stolen the vehicle they were driving. Our Baltimore accident lawyers have handled hundreds of motor vehicle accident cases over the years. And one thing we can tell you is that insurance follows the car, not the driver. We’ll discuss what this means in more detail later in this article.
Baltimore Injury Attorney Explains Factors that Affect Your Insurance Claim
For now, it’s important that you understand the factors that can impact whether insurance will cover your damages. Even if the insurance company denies your claim at first, your Baltimore injury attorney will file an appeal and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. If that doesn’t work, you always have the option of filing a lawsuit.
Regardless of how you get your money, just know that our Baltimore accident lawyers have decades of combined experience fighting the big insurance companies. They aren’t going to be intimidated and they won’t back down from a fight. As long as you can show that the other driver caused the crash, there’s no reason to think that our associates won’t be able to get you the damages you’re entitled to.
If, after reading this article, you still have questions about your own car accident case, feel free to contact a Baltimore injury attorney in our office directly. We offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. There’s no harm in setting up a date and time to come in and talk to one of our attorneys.
Had the Other Driver Stolen the Car?
One thing your Baltimore accident lawyer will need to know right from the start is whether the person driving the other vehicle had stolen it. This is one of the most unique situations we’ve ever come across in personal injury law. Typically, auto insurance policies exclude this type of situation from being covered. Meaning that if the owner of the car didn’t give permission for the person to drive it, there is a good chance the insurance policy won’t cover your injuries.
Other times, the policy is either vague or doesn’t address this issue. If that’s the case, your Baltimore injury attorney will argue that the insurance carrier is responsible for any losses you suffered. Worst case, you can always file a claim under your own uninsured motorist policy. This is a last resort, however. The reason for this is that most uninsured motorist policies only cover up to about $10,000 in damages. Even in minor car accident cases, the medical bills alone exceed that amount.
Did the Owner Give the Other Driver Permission to Drive the Vehicle?
One of the questions your Baltimore injury attorney will need to ask the owner of the vehicle is whether they gave the defendant permission to use their car. This can put the vehicle’s owner in a no-win situation. If they admit they gave the person permission to drive the car, then their insurance company’s going to have to cover your damages.
If, instead, they claim that they did not give permission to the driver, they may end up being responsible for a friend or family member being charged criminally for Grand Theft Auto.
What this means for you is that, unless the car was truly stolen, there’s a very good chance the owner of the vehicle will say that they gave permission to the third party to drive the vehicle. They would much rather have their auto insurance premiums go up for a few years then put a friend or family member in such a precarious position of facing a jail sentence.
The Good News is that Auto Insurance Follows the Car, Not the Driver
One thing that a lot of people aren’t clear on is that car insurance follows the vehicle – not the driver. Quite frankly, the insurance company doesn’t really care who’s behind the wheel of the car. Of course, your insurance rates are typically based on your own driving history.
But, as your Baltimore injury attorney will explain, the insurance company is also aware that other people live in your home who are old enough to drive. If they were to deny coverage when any of these individuals got hurt in an accident or damaged the car in some way, they would likely lose a good portion of their customers.
Many of our clients are under the impression that insurance only follows the owner of the car. That wouldn’t make a lot of sense either. That means that if someone owned a pickup truck and lent it to a friend to help move, their vehicle wouldn’t be covered in the event of an accident.
What this means for your case is that it shouldn’t matter who was driving the vehicle. As long as the person who purchased the vehicle has insurance on it, you should be in a good position to have your injuries covered.
Your Baltimore Injury Attorney Will Fight to Get You the Compensation You Deserve
Before you start to panic or drive yourself crazy with questions about how you will pay thousands of dollars in medical bills, contact our office. We offer all new clients a free consultation. This gives you a chance to sit down with one of our Baltimore accident lawyers and find out if your case has merit.
If your biggest concern is the fact that the person who hit you didn’t own the vehicle they were driving, make sure you bring this up in your initial meeting. Your entire case could turn on that fact, so you want to make your attorney aware of it as soon as possible.
We recommend that you contact our office and speak with a Baltimore injury attorney as soon as possible after the crash. If you’re in a physical position to do this despite your injuries, we suggest you call us the same day as the accident. If this isn’t possible or practical, we understand completely. Just reach out to us as soon as you can and schedule your free, initial consultation. If need be, we can even conduct this consultation by phone or through Skype. And remember, since you don’t pay our office anything upfront, you have nothing to lose.