The lines of liability often get blurred in situations where someone is driving a vehicle, but not the owner of the vehicle. While you are searching for the perfect car, you may take a test drive of the vehicle around the block. What if, during the drive, you are involved in an accident? After that accident, you then suffer from pain, and cannot work. In this scenario, who is responsible for your injuries? This is one of those cases that can occur in Blue Springs, and most definitely will need the assistance of a car accident attorney to help define the lines of liability.
Dealership Coverage: Will That Help?
In most cases, if you are driving a vehicle that is still owned by the dealership – or owned by it at the time of the test drive – the dealer’s own auto insurance policy would cover all accident costs. Accidents during test drives are rare, but they can happen. If the accident is your fault during the test drive, the dealership should cover the costs of the property damage through its insurance.
However, the dealership could attempt to hold you liable for other issues if you are at-fault for the accident, such as injury claims from the other party involved in the collision. The dealer may also try to place blame on you – even if the accident was not your fault – in order to escape liability.
Exterior Liability: What Are Your Options?
When the dealership refuses to cover the damages or the test-driving vehicle was your own, it would then be treated like any other type of auto accident. You will submit a claim to your auto insurance (or to the other party’s, if he or she were at-fault). Then, you will go through the steps with the insurance claims adjuster to work out a settlement.
It is imperative that you protect yourself after any accident – even if you were test-driving a vehicle. You can do this by:
- Taking detailed notes at the scene. This includes what you were doing before, during, and after the collision. Write down the weather, where the accident happened, the date and time of the accident, and anything that the other party says in regard to the incident – especially if he or she admits fault, or apologizes for his or her actions.
- Take photographs. If you are able, take photographs of the accident scene – including the vehicles, witnesses, and the other party.
- Get information from witnesses. If you are test-driving a vehicle, you will most likely have a dealership representative in the vehicle with you; therefore, you already have a witness’s account of the collision. You will also want to get the names and contact information of any other witnesses present, so that you may contact them later for an official statement.
- Speak with an accident attorney. Because determining fault in these types of cases can become complicated – and insurance companies will quickly try to pass the case along to one another, with you suffering all the while – it is in your best interest to contact a car accident attorney.
Contact Horn Law Regarding Your Recent Car Accident Today
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident in Blue Springs – during a test drive or otherwise – you will want to contact an experienced car accident attorney to discuss your claims. Speak with a team member at Horn Law today and let us explore your options for compensation. Schedule a free consultation at 816-795-7500, or fill out our online contact form with your legal questions.