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What happens after a crash when a motorist is driving someone else’s vehicle?

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

People in Maryland generally do their best to avoid mistakes while driving that could cause a crash. Despite those efforts, collisions are an unavoidable byproduct of on-demand transportation. People end up in crashes on their way to work in the morning or while running errands on the weekend.

Usually, collisions involve people driving their own vehicles. Those motorists are usually well aware of what kinds of insurance coverage they have. However, sometimes the person involved in the crash is in a vehicle that belongs to someone else. Perhaps they rented a moving truck to transport their furniture to a new apartment. Maybe they borrowed the vehicle of a friend or family member while theirs is in the shop.

What happens after a crash that occurs in someone else’s vehicle?

Insurance follows the vehicle in Maryland

In some states, the insurance coverage a driver purchases follows them regardless of what vehicle they are in. Their policy applies when they are in a rental vehicle or borrowing their sister’s minivan. Maryland has a different approach to automotive liability insurance.

The insurance that someone purchases follows the vehicle regardless of who drives it. Someone borrowing another person’s vehicle relies on their coverage should a crash occur. Their sister’s policy determines how much personal injury and property damage liability coverage they have if they are the party at fault for the crash. Those operating rental vehicles that belong to a business typically have baseline liability coverage carried by the rental car company, but they may also have the option of opting into enhanced coverage as part of the rental process.

That being said, many times the coverage of the owner of the borrowed vehicle is a non-issue. If the other driver is the party at fault for the crash, then they should provide the insurance coverage and compensation necessitated by the collision. Anyone borrowing a vehicle typically wants to communicate with the owner of the vehicle to ensure that there is active liability insurance coverage so that they aren’t at personal risk should a collision occur.

Understanding the rules that govern insurance and financial liability after a Maryland car crash can help people protect themselves from the financial expense generated by a wreck caused by another’s negligence. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to start.