Your friend did you a favor and let you borrow their car. And because no good deed goes unpunished, you wrecked the car. What happens next? Below is a timeline that covers that basic things that happen if you have been in a car accident while driving someone else’s car.
First Things First
If you are still at the scene of the accident, the first thing you need to do is call the police and file an accident report. The police report can provide important evidence that will be used to determine how the accident occured, who was at fault, and what damage was caused.
You should then notify your friend, and seek medical treatment. It’s up to you which call you want to make first. Your friend is going to have information about the car and his or her insurance policy that the police, and you, are going to need. But if you are seriously injured, you should seek treatment before worrying about gathering insurance information.
If you do seek medical treatment, be sure to follow the doctor’s advice so your injuries do not get worse than they already are. Go to follow-up appointments, and if the doctor recommends it, physical therapy. Avoiding the doctor, is not a good idea if you have been in an accident, even if you are worried about who will end up paying the bills.
Into The Insurance Quagmire
In most accidents, there are four different things to worry about — your own injuries, the injuries other people suffer, damage to the car you were driving, and damage to the other cars or property involved in the accident. This means you are going to be negotiating with your insurance company, your friend’s insurance company, and the other driver or drivers’ insurance companies, all at the same time.
Your injuries will be probably be covered by your own insurance, but may also be covered by your friend’s insurance and the other driver’s insurance. Damage to your friend’s car will be covered by your friend’s insurance and maybe the other driver’s insurance. The other driver’s injuries and car damage will be covered by their own insurance, and maybe your insurance and your friend’s insurance. It’s a tangled web of claims and cross claims.That’s where we come in.
It’s What We Do
One of the main things our firm does is negotiate with and sue insurance companies. There is a common misconception, which is perpetuated by insurance companies, that your insurance company will look after you if you are injured in a car accident. The truth is, the only person the insurance company is looking after is itself. It will fight tooth and nail to minimize the money it has to pay out to you, or on your behalf.
Our firm will fight to get you the compensation you deserve, no matter who was at fault. Depending on the circumstances, we many also be able to represent your friend, but usually we recommend that each person hire their own, separate attorney.
If you would like advice about what to do after you wrecked a friend’s car, or a friend wrecked your car, our experienced attorneys are here to help. Please contact our Houston-based office to schedule a free initial consultation.