When looking into buying a new car, taking it out for a test drive is exciting for many motorists. Some drivers love the thrill of trying out a vehicle that has a more powerful engine or looks sleeker than their current vehicle. Others may be more concerned with seeing how the safety features work. Regardless of the reason, what happens if you get into a crash in the middle of your test drive? What if you share some fault for the collision? Whose insurance pays in this type of car crash?
Greg Coleman Law talks about car crashes that happen during a new car test drive and how these types of claims may proceed.
If you are injured in a crash while test driving a new car, our traffic accident lawyers in Knoxville are experienced and ready to help. Call for a no-obligation initial consultation to find out if you have a valid case. There is no cost to you for this meeting, and you can get answers to your injury claim questions. If you hire our services, there is nothing to pay up front or throughout the legal process. We only get paid if you do.
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Can You Be Held Liable for a Test Drive Collision?
Regardless of what vehicle you are driving and how the crash occurs, the insurance company will still investigate the cause and determine liability. Unfortunately, this means that if you contributed to the car crash, or are found to be fully at fault, you can be held liable for the damages. You can also be ticketed for any traffic violations you committed during the test drive. There are no special immunity rules for people who test drive a car.
The coverage your insurance company provides while you are driving a test car is likely to be similar to any rental car coverage you may have. However, it is a good idea to contact your insurance company before test driving any vehicles to make sure you know what you are or are not covered for under your policy.
Who Pays for Your Damages if You Are Not at Fault?
There is no one answer to this question. Liability varies and is determined on a case-by-case basis. There are always multiple factors that have to be considered. However, if another party is found to be liable for the crash, there are a couple of options that may be available to help you recover compensation for your injuries and other related losses.
The At-Fault Party’s Insurance
If another driver's negligence caused the collision, you will not be liable for any of the damages. Instead, as with most car accident claims, the other party's insurance will be responsible. If the at-fault driver is underinsured or uninsured, you may still have a claim, though one that is more complicated. The dealership, in this situation, will likely cover damages caused by the accident. However, for any injuries you sustained, you may have to resort to seeking medical care through your health insurance.
Another alternative may be to file a claim through your own car insurance policy. This may be possible if you carry UM/UIM coverage. In Tennessee, insurance providers must include UM coverage in your auto insurance quote, however, you can reject this optional coverage in writing. We strongly recommend that you do not reject purchasing UM/UIM insurance. The peace of mind is worth the minimal cost.
Car dealerships must carry fleet insurance, which covers every vehicle on their lot. A car dealer's insurance policy typically covers any damages that might occur during a test drive. If the at-fault party was uninsured or underinsured, dealers carry fleet insurance to help in the recovery of injuries and other damages. How the insurance applies depends on many factors. If the crash, for example, is minor and mostly cosmetic in nature, the dealership will likely absorb the costs. This is as a courtesy and also because the dealership really wants the test driver's business.
Did You Sign a Liability Waiver?
Some dealerships may ask you to sign a liability waiver before you take their car out for a test drive. Since a waiver is the car dealer's attempt to transfer all and any liability for damages over to you, we do not recommend signing it. It is unlikely a dealership will insist that you sign the waiver since they want you to buy a car. However, that may vary from one dealership to another. In any case, you should be prepared to either walk away or accept the responsibility. We do not recommend the latter without verifying your coverage under your own insurance policy.
Injured in a Test Drive Crash? Call Our Law Firm Today
Greg Coleman Law has been helping injury victims in Tennessee for decades, including those injured in crashes caused by the negligence of others.
Our firm is ready to answer your questions and provide the legal help you need. Learn more in the free consultation we offer. There is no obligation to file a claim after this meeting. If you choose to hire our services, there are also no costs to pay up front or while we work your case. We only get paid if we recover compensation for you.
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