Am I Responsible for Someone Else Driving My Car?
Even if the person who has driven your car and gotten into an accident claims responsibility, the insurance companies may not accept this statement, seeing how by lending out a car you lend your insurance rights. This means that you, a non-driving party involved in the accident, may be held liable if another vehicle is hit. If the party that is driving refuses to accept liability, it may be up to you to foot the bill. You could be held responsible for all, part, or none of the damages depending on whether the other party is insured, what insurance they have and what it covers, and the permission you gave the driver to take your car.
Additionally, even if the driver accepts responsibility, if his or her insurance does not cover the full amount of damages your insurance may be used as secondary coverage. If the driver doesn’t have insurance then you are further out of luck and must pay for the damages yourself. The reason that your insurance is the primary coverage is because by letting others operate your car you do so with the knowledge that there is risk involved. If you trust the person enough to drive your car, they are seen as an extension of your own insurance plan.
There is a theory of permissive use, meaning that if you did not allow someone to use your car (as in your keys were stolen or taken without your knowledge) you are not responsible for any damages. This means that if you are mugged in a parking garage, or the valet boy runs off with your car, you do not need to deal with the added stress of insurance damages if another car is involved. Permission does not have to explicit, either. If you have a child in your care that can drive, or are letting family members stay with you, you can still be held responsible if they take your car, even if you didn’t explicitly hand them the keys. The parties involved will need to reach an agreement to ensure that insurance is being field the right way because the injured parties can then sue everyone involved.
If the incident was partially my fault, can I still file?
Once again this depends heavily on the laws of that state or jurisdiction. Most jurisdictions still allow you to file a claim if the incident was partially your fault. Very few places do not allow those partially at fault to file. Although some jurisdictions allow you to file the compensation may be reduced if you contributed to your injuries.
What can I do to prevent burn injuries?
There are a number of safety precautions to take to prevent these injuries. When handling hot water in the kitchen keep handles of pots turned inwards away from you. Do not wear loose clothing when cooking with open fire. Do not sick foreign objects in sockets or operate mechanical objects with damp hands.