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What Happens if Someone Else is Driving My Car and Gets in an Accident in Illinois

Posted on February 21, 2024

You probably don’t think twice about letting a friend or family member borrow your vehicle for a quick trip to the store or maybe for a weekend getaway. However, what happens if someone gets into an accident while driving your vehicle? Our Chicago car accident attorneys have seen it repeatedly.

In most situations, the insurance policy of the vehicle owner will help cover expenses if the person who borrowed the vehicle caused the incident. If another person caused the crash, then the negligent driver’s insurance carrier should help cover the expenses for the person who was driving her vehicle (if they were harmed), as well as your property damage expenses.

What if Someone Crashes Your Car?

If you voluntarily loan your car to somebody or if somebody in your designated household uses your vehicle, then your auto insurance will serve as the primary insurance if the person who borrowed your car caused the accident. Every vehicle owner in Illinois is required to carry specific types and minimum amounts of insurance, including the following:

  • Bodily injury liability of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability of $25,000 per accident

One issue that we encourage you to consider is the total expenses involved in a vehicle accident. If you carry only the minimum coverage required under Illinois law, and if someone borrows your vehicle and causes an accident, your coverage may not handle all of the expenses involved. For example, if the person operating your vehicle crashes and causes even relatively minor injuries to other parties involved, it is likely these expenses will quickly rise above the $25,000 or $50,000 thresholds.

Even though you may not have been driving the vehicle, your insurance may be on the line to cover these expenses. Additionally, in the event your insurance coverage is insufficient to pay for the expenses, any injury or property damage victim could file a claim in civil court to come after your personal assets.

We also encourage you to consider not letting anybody borrow your car unless you are absolutely certain you can handle any possible outcome of doing so.

What if Another Driver Causes the Crash?

In the event you let someone borrow your car, and another driver causes an accident, then the other driver’s insurance should pay for the expenses involved. This includes not only the medical bills associated with the claim but also your property damage expenses.

However, vehicle accident claims are rarely straightforward, and there may be a situation of shared fault. When this happens, an extensive investigation into the incident will be needed to determine which insurance carriers should pay compensation and how much they should pay.

Consider Additional Types of Insurance

If other individuals in your household regularly operate your vehicle, or if you know you will need to allow others outside of your household to drive your vehicle from time to time, we encourage you to consider purchasing additional types of insurance and higher amounts of coverage. Not only does this include examining more bodily injury or property damage liability coverage, but also considering uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as well as comprehensive and collision coverages.