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When Are You Liable For Another Person’s Driving In Illinois?

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents


When you consider car accidents, you probably think all drivers should be responsible for their own driving and any damages they cause. If their driving leads to an accident, it is up to them to take care of it, whether that means their insurance applies or they have to pay out of pocket. But car crashes and who is liable for them are often more complicated. There are a number of situations when you and your insurance could be responsible for property damage and injuries caused by other drivers.

If someone is currently filing a claim against your insurance policy or suing you for damages from a car accident you weren’t involved in, you should call the experienced Chicago personal injury attorneys of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away.

After an accident, You or your insurance policy may be liable for another person’s driving in Illinois if:

Someone in Your Household Was Driving

Many auto insurance policies cover all drivers in a household. If your spouse or another relative in your household was actually behind the wheel during an accident, your policy and therefore you, could be the parties held responsible for the victim’s financial recovery. You should carefully review your policy to see if the person behind the wheel is covered under your policy.

You Loaned Out Your Car to Friend

Auto liability insurance generally follows the vehicle, which means any permissible driver is covered under the policy. Who is considered a permissible driver varies depending on the policy, but if you gave your friend permission to borrow your car, you and your insurance policy could be the ones who foot the bill for your friend’s accident. If you believe your friend should be held liable for any out-of-pocket expenses you pay related to the accident, you might have to work this out yourselves or take your friend to court.

Your Child Was Driving

Parents in Illinois can be held responsible for a child’s willful or malicious acts that damage someone’s property or cause another person injuries. This may apply to a car accident, though most collisions are accidents caused by negligent behavior. Parents can also be liable for children’s negligent or reckless driving. If your son or daughter was driving your or the family vehicle while engaged in doing something for you, then you could be held responsible for an accident he or she causes. You may not be liable if your child was driving to do something for themselves, but you can be legally responsible if he or she was running a family or parent-requested errand.

However, the truth is that your adolescent will likely be on your insurance policy and won’t have his or her own money to cover the costs of a car accident. If your child is in a crash, your insurance policy will be where the victim turns to for recovery.

The Driver Was Your Employee

If you employee another person who is required to drive to complete the job duties, you are responsible for what that person does behind the wheel. If your employee causes an accident, the victim will look toward the business and business’s auto insurance policy for recovery. If you are a sole proprietor, looking to the business for recovery can be the same as looking to you for personal responsibility.

Call a Chicago Lawyer for Help

If you are being held liable for an accident you weren’t a part of, contact the skilled attorneys of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 for legal advice. There are many situations in which the vehicle’s owner or policyholder can be held responsible instead of the driver at the time of the accident. Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can advise you on your rights during this type of situation and your options to financially recover if you end up paying out of pocket for damages you didn’t cause.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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