If my brother took my car without my permission and got into a car accident, whose insurance covers this – mine or his?

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If my brother took my car without my permission and got into a car accident, whose insurance covers this – mine or his?

No other vehicle was involved.

Asked on December 26, 2013 under Accident Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

A third party injured by your brother (like another driver or pedestrian) could try to sue either of you. You'd have a good defense to such a suit, since a car's owner is only liable for the damage or injuries caused by someone he permitted or allowed to drive his/her car--BUT you'd have to be willing to report that your brother stole your car (since that's what using a car without permission is--theft) in order to claim this defense. Without reporting that your brother stole your car, a court and/or insurer may well believe that your brother had permission, which would make you liable for his accident.

As to you: since your brother was the at-fault driver, his insurance should most likely pay for the damage, if they do not, you likely could sue your brother and force them to defend (and, if you win, pay for the damange).

However, if you have relevant coverage, such as collision, your best bet is to submit a claim to your own insurer and let your insurer worry about recovering the money it pays you from your brother or his insurer.

 


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