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Blogs from June, 2022

person handing a car key to another person over a wood table

How a Friendly Gesture Can Turn Into a Legal Nightmare

Letting someone borrow your car seems like a small, friendly gesture. What could go wrong? Unfortunately, if you live in the Tarheel State, quite a lot.

In North Carolina, insurance applies to the vehicle—not the driver. If your friend gets into an accident while driving your car, you could be held liable. Here's what you need to know.

Insurance Follows the Vehicle in North Carolina

Many people believe that as long as they have insurance, they're covered no matter who is driving their car. Unfortunately, that's not the case in North Carolina. In this state, your auto insurance policy covers the vehicle—not the driver. So even if you have insurance and your friend does not, if they get into an accident while driving your car, you could be liable for damages.

This is because North Carolina is a "fault" state regarding car accidents. This means that the person who is found to be at fault for the accident is responsible for paying for any damages that result from the collision. So, even if your friend is the one who caused the accident, you could be on the hook for repairs to your car, medical bills, and more.

What If Your Friend Doesn't Have Insurance?

To make matters worse, if your friend doesn't have insurance and they cause an accident while driving your car, you could have your license suspended. North Carolina requires all drivers to carry liability insurance on their vehicles, so if your friend causes an accident and doesn't have insurance, the state will hold you responsible since the car is registered in your name.

The bottom line is this: letting someone borrow your car in North Carolina can be a risky proposition. If they cause an accident, you could be liable for any damages.

Experienced North Carolina Personal Injury Attorneys

At Payne Law Firm, our experienced personal injury team can help if you've been involved in an accident. We know the ins and outs of North Carolina's auto insurance laws, and we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Don't wait to get help. Contact us today for a free consultation.