If a friend crashed your car in Michigan, then both you as the vehicle owner and your friend as the negligent driver could be sued if the accident resulted in injury or death to someone else or damage to another person’s vehicle. Your car insurance will likely cover your liability exposure up to the coverage limits you selected.
If your friend had his or her own car insurance policy, then your friend’s insurance company will also provide coverage for what he or she owes as a result of the car accident your friend caused.
In Michigan, as the owner of the vehicle, it is important to remember that if your liability for injuries, death or vehicle damage resulting from when your friend crashed your car exceeds the bodily injury insurance coverage limits in your auto policy, then you have potential personal liability for the amounts in excess of your insurance policy.
This is why as a car accident lawyer I always recommend that drivers purchase as much liability insurance coverage as they can. Liability coverage is very inexpensive and represents just a small fraction of your car insurance premium. In comparison to liability insurance, collision coverage is now over half of your insurance premium. This incremental increase in price compared to the enormous expansion of protection and additional coverage that comes with selecting higher bodily injury liability insurance limits is why it is such a good value for consumers. Plus, the small amount of increase in premium should be more than offset by the much larger sense of security that comes from knowing you have a lot more protection from ever being personally and financially responsible if tragedy strikes because your friend got into an automobile accident in your vehicle
What if my friend crashes my car?
In Michigan, if a friend crashes your car and if he or she was at-fault for the accident, then your friend and you can both be sued by the people who were injured and/or the people whose vehicles were damaged. Your friend’s liability arises from being the driver and your liability arises from your status as the vehicle’s owner.
Under Michigan’s “owner liability” law, a vehicle owner “is liable for an injury caused by the negligent operation” of his or her vehicle. (MCL 257.401(1)) The only exception to this liability rule is if the owner’s vehicle was being driven without the owner’s “express of implied consent or knowledge.”
What can I be sued for if a friend crashed my car?
If a friend wrecked your vehicle and if your friend was at-fault for causing the accident, then you as the vehicle owner could be sued for pain and suffering compensation and other economic damages by victims of the crash or their families if they suffered bodily injury or they lost a loved one.
Additionally, if your friend was at-fault for causing an accident while driving your vehicle and if the crash damaged another person’s vehicle, then you as the vehicle owner could be sued for a mini tort lawsuit in Small Claims Court for up to $3,000 in vehicle damage (that was not otherwise covered by the other vehicle owner’s insurance).
How much can I be sued for if a friend wrecked your vehicle?
The facts of the case – including the victim’s injuries, medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering – will determine the amount that you may be sued for if a friend caused an accident driving your vehicle. However, if your liability coverage limits are too low, you may be required to pay out-of-pocket for a portion of your liability.
An excess judgment – i.e., an award that exceeds the coverage limits of a person’s liability insurance – can result in a vehicle owner having to use his or her own personal assets, such as homes, motor vehicles, investments, retirement accounts to pay whatever amount of money the courts determine he or she owes to the people who were injured when in the accident.
What if my friend crashed my car, am I covered for personal injuries to others?
If a friend crashed your car in Michigan and if they were at-fault for the accident, then your liability as the vehicle’s owner for the resulting personal injury to others will likely be covered up to the liability coverage limit you chose when you purchased your auto insurance policy.
Michigan law requires that all Michigan driver’s purchase liability insurance – which is often called bodily injury liability insurance – with minimum coverage limits of $250,000/$500,000, although the law also allows drivers to purchase lower limits of $50,000/$100,000.
It is likely that your liability insurance provides coverage when a friend is driving your vehicle (with your permission) and causes a crash that results in injury or death to other people. It is important to check specific terms and language of your policy to determine the extent of your liability coverage.
Keep in mind that, even though you are being sued as the owner of the vehicle and even though your name will be on a automobile accident lawsuit complaint, in almost all cases it will be your own auto insurance company that will hire a lawyer for you, defend the lawsuit, pay all legal costs and expenses of defending you, and ultimately pay a settlement that will fall within your insurance policy limits – assuming those insurance policy limits are adequate to cover all the harms and losses and injuries that your friend caused after the accident.
What if my friend crashed my car, am I covered for damage to other vehicles?
If a friend crashed your car in Michigan and if they were at-fault for the crash, then your liability as the vehicle’s owner for the resulting damage to another person’s vehicle will likely be covered by your mini tort or limited property damage coverage – if you purchased this optional coverage.
As with liability coverage and depending on the specific terms of your policy, it is likely that your mini tort or limited property damage coverage will cover vehicle damage resulting from an accident that your friend was at-fault for causing an accident while driving your vehicle.
If you as the owner of the vehicle did not have mini tort coverage or limited property damage insurance, then you – and the driver – could potentially be liable to pay a maximum of $3,000 toward the damage that was caused to another person’s vehicle.
What if my friend crashed my car, am I covered for damage to my vehicle?
If a friend crashed your car in Michigan, causing damage to your vehicle, then your collision insurance will likely be covered up to the coverage limit you chose when you purchased this optional coverage. Although it will depend on the terms of your policy, collision frequently covers an owner’s vehicle when driven by a friend.
If you did not have collision coverage, then the vehicle damage repair costs will have to be paid for out-of-pocket.
Although it will depend on the terms of your policy, most car insurance companies will not provide coverage under a mini tort or limited property damage policy for damage to your vehicle when your friend who was driving your vehicle was at-fault for causing the damage to your vehicle.
What if my friend crashed my car and won’t pay for the repair costs?
In Michigan, if your friend crashed your car and won’t pay you for the vehicle damage repair costs, then you may have to file a claim under your collision coverage. If you do not have collision coverage, then you will have to pay out of pocket for the costs of repairing your vehicle damage.
What if a friend crashed my car, can I sue?
If your friend crashed your car in Michigan, and they were at-fault for causing the accident that resulted in the damage to your vehicle and if you either have a collision deductible or no collision coverage, then you may be able to sue them in a mini tort lawsuit filed in Small Claims court.
Although the mini tort statute does not specifically address this issue, it also does not prohibit the bringing of a mini tort claim under the circumstances described above. (MCL 500.3135(3)(e) and (4))
What if my friend crashed my car, will my insurance cover it?
Although it will depend on the terms of your policy, your liability insurance will cover up to your policy limits if your friend got into an accident with your vehicle and hurt or killed someone. Similarly, if you purchased optional mini tort and collision coverage, your insurance will likely cover you up to the limits you selected.
What if my friend causes an automobile accident and they don’t have insurance?
In Michigan, your liability insurance coverage will provide you liability protection up to the policy limits you selected in your policy if your uninsured friend got in to automobile accident in your vehicle and injured or killed someone. Damage to another person’s vehicle or your own will only be covered if you have mini tort or collision coverage.
Does my friend’s insurance pay if he caused the accident?
If your friend crashed your car in Michigan and if they had his or her own auto insurance policy which included liability as well as mini tort or limited property damage and collision coverage, then it is likely your friend’s insurance will help pay for injuries and vehicle damage up to the limits in your friend’s policy.
In this scenario, your friend’s insurance will represent and defend him or her, and your own insurance will represent and defend you.
Have you been injured in a car accident? Call Michigan Auto Law for a free consultation
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident and you have questions about your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation, economic damages and auto No-Fault insurance benefits, you can call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys. You can also get help by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.