If you have ever purchased a car, then you know how important it is to take it for a test drive before you make your decision to buy it. The test drive is an exciting step in the process of buying a car. While accidents occurring during a test drive don’t happen very often, if one does happen, there are some questions that are raised that are different from those asked about normal car accidents. Here are some of the questions that arise when there is an accident during a test drive, and the answers to them.
Who Is Responsible for the Car Crash?
Like any car accident, in an accident with a car that is being test driven, the party whose negligence or carelessness caused the accident will be considered responsible for the damages that result. If you committed a traffic violation, were negligent, reckless, or distracted while test driving a vehicle, then you may be found to be liable for the accident.
There are no special rules designated for accidents that occur during a test drive in determining liability. It’s expected that you familiarize yourself with any special nuances (the car’s features and sight lines) before you begin driving it; and that you use proper caution as you develop a level of comfort driving the car (for example, steering, braking, accelerations, etc.).
If you are involved in a test drive car accident, make sure that you take the same steps you would after any type of car wreck. Record the names and information of all involved drivers, passengers, and witnesses; take pictures of the cars involved and the scene of the accident; report the accident to your insurance company and the police; and, most importantly, call an experienced car accident attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.
Whose Insurance Will Cover the Accident?
Whose insurance will cover the accident will depend on who is found to be at fault. It is especially important to have a car accident lawyer advocating for you during this process, so that if you are not at fault, or if you are only partially at fault, that you do not get taken advantage of by the other insurance companies.
There are typically at least three insurance companies involved when there is an accident during a test drive: the dealership’s, yours, and the other driver’s (there may be one or more other drivers involved, each with their own insurance).
Car dealerships have to carry fleet insurance on all of the vehicles on their lot, and a test driver is usually covered under that policy. Usually, fleet coverage will cover all damages that result from an accident that happens during a test drive, regardless of whose fault the accident was. However, in serious accidents, or when the test driver or the driver of the other involved vehicle is clearly at fault, the dealership may seek to have damages paid in a third-party claim.
If you are found to be at fault for the accident, and the dealership or other involved parties decide to file a claim against you, it will be your insurance company that has to pay for damages, up to the limits of your liability coverage.
If the other driver that is involved in the accident is found to be responsible, then the car dealership will not be able to hold you liable for any damages, instead, they will have to make a claim against the other driver’s insurance. You too can make a claim against the other driver’s insurance if you sustain injuries in the accident.
Seek Help Right Away for a Test Drive Accident
It is easy to get lost in all the red tape that accompanies car accidents. If you or a loved one is injured in an accident during a test drive, let Boca Raton car accident lawyer, Joe Osborne, help you navigate all the complexities involved in making a claim. Contact the Florida law firm of Osborne & Associates at (561) 293-2600, for an evaluation of your car accident and help with how to proceed.