Who Is Liable in a Test-Drive Accident?

When purchasing a new car, test-driving it is typically an important part of the process. Although they are rare, what if an accident occurs in the vehicle you are thinking of buying? Well, things can get complicated quickly.

Who is Liable in a Test-Drive Accident?

Who Pays for a Test-Drive Accident?

As in any other car accident, the person responsible for causing the crash will be liable for damages.

The Other Driver’s Car Insurance

If another party crashes into the vehicle you are test-driving, their insurance company must pay for any injuries, property damage, and other related losses.

Your Auto Insurance

If you, as the test driver, were responsible for the collision, you will likely have to pay for any losses. Fortunately, your own auto insurance transfers to the vehicle you are test driving, so your policy should apply to the accident.

The Dealership’s Insurance

Car dealerships are required to carry fleet insurance on their vehicles. As a result, test drivers are also typically covered under the fleet policy. If the accident is minor or caused by a vehicle defect or some other issue with the car, the dealership will often absorb the costs through its fleet insurance. However, if you were clearly to blame for the collision and there is moderate to severe damage or if you signed a liability waiver, the dealership may choose to pursue a claim against your insurer for damages. They also have the right to sue you for reimbursement if necessary. Liability waivers transfer any legal responsibility for a collision onto the test driver.

What to Do After a Test-Drive Accident

The steps you should take after a test-drive accident are similar to what you should do after any collision.

  • Stay at the scene and try to remain calm. Call 911 to get medical assistance if you or anyone involved is injured.
  • If you do not require emergency medical care, still notify the police so a report can be filed. A police report can be critical to proving liability and holding the at-fault party accountable.
  • Do not move vehicles or injured persons unless you absolutely must because of safety concerns.
  • If you are not immediately taken to the hospital, take photos & videos of the scene, the vehicles and their damage, any debris or skid marks, and the surrounding area for evidence.
  • Exchange information with all drivers involved and any witnesses.
  • Seek medical care as soon as possible and continue any ongoing treatment recommended by your doctor. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, medical records must link your harm to the accident.
  • Contact your insurance company to report the accident.
  • Speak to a Las Vegas auto accident attorney for legal counsel and help to determine which party is liable for the test-drive accident.

A test-drive accident claim can involve further complications than an ordinary accident claim. Issues may arise, such as the dealership’s insurance company refuting liability. To ensure you recover fair compensation for the losses you suffered, consulting an attorney will be vital.

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