Life can get complicated, and sometimes you aren’t behind the wheel of your own vehicle. You might be renting a car or borrowing a truck from a friend. But what happens if you get into an accident in a borrowed car?
Generally, the Michigan No-Fault insurance claim for such an accident attaches to the car. If you are driving your brother’s sports car while on vacation up north, it is his insurance that will pay for your injuries. But if your brother forgot to pay his premium or doesn’t have insurance you can still be covered by your own policy as well.
The same may be true if you are driving a rental car. Most no-fault insurance providers offer additional coverage for rental cars. In addition, every rental car agency will offer you an option to get insurance on the rental. That insurance protects you from having to pay out of pocket costs above the agency’s often basic insurance coverage.
But what if you borrow a vehicle from someone you really don’t know that well? Take this recent Michigan Supreme Court case for example. The plaintiff was a member of a motorcycle club but did not own a motorcycle. To participate in a group riding event he borrowed a motorcycle from another club member. While on the ride, he was struck by a car and injured. As it turned out, the motorcycle he was riding was stolen.
No-Fault insurance does not cover accidents where the driver was using a vehicle without the owner’s permission. What the court had to decide was whether the driver had to know he was not receiving permission from the rightful owner of the vehicle. The court said that if the plaintiff reasonably believed he had the owner’s permission, then the insurance company had to pay for his injuries.
Driving other people’s vehicles can be risky. You don’t necessarily know whether they have insurance, what will be covered, or even if the vehicles are theirs. But the Michigan No-Fault Insurance statutes and insurance providers give drivers options to cover their medical bills even when they’re behind the wheel of someone else’s car. If you know someone who has been injured in an automobile accident, contact the No-Fault experts at Christensen Law for a consultation.