An auto accident can occur at any time. You can even be involved in a car accident when test-driving a dealership car. If that happens, you might wonder who should pay for the damages. Here are the three parties whose insurance is most likely to compensate for the damages.
Dealerships have fleet insurance policies that cover all the cars on sale. Thus, this should be the first port of call for compensation for a test-drive accident. A typical dealership is likely to have adequate insurance that can cover all the damages. The dealership is most likely to pay for the damages if:
- The accident occurs as a result of a defect or malfunction of the car, such as defective brakes
- The liability for the accident is not clear or it is a weather-related (an act of God) crash
- Another person is responsible for the crash, but they don't have insurance or resources for the compensation
Don't forget to treat the accident just like any other accident (get witnesses' contact information and take pictures of the scene). This will help you prove the cause of the accident and, hopefully, absolve you of any blame.
Even though dealerships have fleet insurance that covers all manner of scenarios, there are still cases where it might want you to pay. Here are a couple of examples of these cases.
- You are obviously responsible for the crash; for example, if you drive while intoxicated and run a red light, causing a crash
- The liability of the crash is not clear, but it leans towards you and the dealership wants you to pay
- The dealership is not responsible, but the damages are high and exceed the dealership's insurance limits
In such a case, your auto insurance company might pay the damages. If it later turns out that another person was responsible for the crash, your insurance company might go after the responsible party to recover its damages.
A Third Party
In any type of accident, the liable party is the one most likely to be held accountable for the damages. Therefore, if another party (another driver, a cyclist, or a road maintenance company) is responsible for the crash, they should be the one to pay for the damages.
An auto accident during a test-drive is likely to trigger complicated claims from different parties. This is particularly true if the damages are expensive and neither party wants to or can cover them all. That is why you need an auto accident attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve and shield you from unnecessary blame.
For more information, contact an auto accident attorney.