Can I File a Personal Injury Claim if I Was Borrowing Someone Else’s Car

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People borrow other people’s cars throughout Thousand Oaks and surrounding communities every day for various purposes. It’s perfectly legal to borrow someone’s car so long the person who borrows the car has permission to use it from the owner of the car.

In fact, when borrowing a car, the temporary driver doesn’t need to have car insurance. That’s because the car is what is insured, not the driver.



California law states that if the car borrower is in an accident that was caused by the carelessness and negligence of another person or entity, that borrower can seek compensation for their injuries and damages from the person who caused the crash.

Can I Allow Anyone to Borrow My Car in California?

There are times when you shouldn’t allow a person to borrow your car though. Here are a few scenarios:

  • If a requestor doesn’t have a driver’s license, or if it is suspended or revoked, you don’t want to allow that individual to borrow your car. Read the fine print in your insurance policy. If that individual causes an accident, your insurance can raise a policy exclusion as a reason for not covering the individual or your car if he or she causes an accident.
  • Some policyholders or insurers even exclude specific individuals from coverage. A perfect candidate would be your child who lives with you that has a troublesome driving record with a history of traffic tickets, accidents, or both. Never allow a person to borrow your car when that person has been excluded as an additional insured person on your coverage.
  • If you’re in a situation where alcohol, marijuana, or other substances are being used, you don’t want a person who has consumed anything to borrow your car. At a minimum, if he or she causes an accident, you’re likely to be at least partially liable for damages under a tort theory of negligent entrustment.

Borrowing a Car Without Permission

Sometimes, a person borrows someone’s car without the owner’s permission, but the borrower fully intends to return the car. That might not amount to theft, but the owner’s permission is required for the borrower to be insured by the owner’s insurer.


PPC for Legal

In the event of the theft of a car, there is no insurance as there was no permission to use it and no intention of returning it either.

Contact a Thousand Oaks Car Accident Lawyer

Allowing somebody else to use your car is always somewhat of a risk. The Thousand Oaks personal injury lawyers at Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC are available to answer your questions about being injured in an accident that was caused by another driver when you were driving a car that you borrowed with the owner’s permission. We offer free consultations and case reviews, and if we’re retained to represent you, no legal fees are even due unless we obtain a settlement or award for you.


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Logan Quirk

Logan Quirk is the founder and managing partner of Thousand Oaks personal injury firm Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC.

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