So, You Got In A Wreck During A Vehicle Test Drive – Now What?
Among the many exciting times in your life, purchasing a new car is near the top of the list. There is just something about having a car fresh off the lot with that new car scent. So, you head out on the lot and find the car that you want. Unfortunately, you took the car of your dreams for a test drive and crashed it. What are you supposed to do now? Who exactly is liable – you or the dealership? Read on to learn more, as these test drive accidents occur more frequently than you may think and are handled in a similar way to other accidents – with the appropriate form of insurance.
Dealership Liability and Coverage
As a general rule, dealerships have insurance coverage in place for incidents just like these. Insurance will cover the vehicles that are on the company lot, and the coverage extends to off the lot until purchased. In some cases, even if the accident was indeed your fault, the dealership may just cover the cost of repairs by filing a claim with its own insurance company. Unfortunately, for the test driver, this is not always the case.
Your Liability and Coverage
There are instances when the dealership may hold you liable for your alleged negligence on the road, especially if you are found to be at-fault for the accident. If this is the case, you will need your own policy to cover the car's damage or attempt to prove your innocence in the matter. In a sense, a test drive accident is treated very similar to that of a rental car accident.
Other Driver Liability and Coverage
When the dealership refuses to pay for the damages, you can file your own claim and then attempt to recover damages from another responsible party. This is only true If the vehicle accident was the other driver's fault. If this is the case, the first steps that you take immediately following the crash are critical in citing liability and recovering damages. You will want to obtain as much accurate information as you can from the other driver, including his or her name, address, phone number and proof of insurance. You will also want to document everything, including all scratches, dents and other damage that occurred to all involved vehicles.
While it may take some time to document everything, it is important that you do so, if you are able, in order to keep your claim on track and to help prove the facts of your individual case. If you've been injured in a car accident, whether it was a test drive or not, you may want to consider consulting with a personal injury attorney to discuss the circumstances surrounding your case. You may have a valid legal claim, if you decide to pursue it. If an injury occurred in the accident, you might want to contact a personal injury lawyer like Vick & Glantz, LLP.