Most people prefer to test drive a vehicle before making the final purchase decision. Test drives allow the person to check if the vehicle is as per their requirements and whether they can handle it. A majority of vehicle dealers allow prospective buyers to try on the vehicle. During such test drives, accidents can cause either damage to the car, harm the driver, or both. Since the vehicle belongs to the dealer, who should be responsible for the damage. There is no straightforward answer to this question. There are various factors taken into consideration when determining the liability. Moreover, multiple states have different laws to assess the penalty in such cases. If you are in a similar situation, it’s advised to seek help from personal injury attorneys Virginia Beach.
How to determine the liability in a test drive accident?
If you meet with an accident during a test drive due to no fault of yours, the dealer can’t hold you accountable for the damage. However, if the accident is your fault, the dealer can recover the losses from your insurance company.
The latter option largely depends upon your insurance policy and whether it covers the cost of damage to a vehicle while test driving. The dealer can recover the cost of damage from your insurance company depending upon the coverage it offers you.
On the other hand, if your insurance policy doesn’t cover you for driving any other vehicle than your own, you will have to pay for the damage caused to the vehicle while test driving. Even if you are not going for a test drive, it’s in your best interest to regularly review your insurance policy and check coverage.
How dealers safeguard themselves from the liability for test drive accidents?
While accidents are unpredictable and can’t be avoided, one must be prepared for such unfortunate event. Vehicle dealers take various measures to prevent test drive accidents and ensure maximum coverage of the damage.
Many dealers have specialized insurance policies for their vehicles. Besides this, vehicle dealers can refuse test drives to people if they don’t fall into their criteria.
Dealers can decline permission for a test drive if;
- A person doesn’t have a valid driving license.
- A person is intoxicated or drunk.
- A person wants to test drive a high-performance or expensive vehicle.
In some instances, a dealer may be held responsible for the car accident while test drive if he allows a person under the influence of alcohol or drug to drive.
However, dealers are not required to check on the condition of the test drivers. When determining the liability for a test drive crash, such factors can complicate the process.
Some dealers make the drivers sign a form of acceptance for the damages caused to the vehicle while test driving. When determining the liability for the damage, such documents can be used by the dealers against you.
How to recover the cost for injuries sustained by the test-driver?
There are times when the test-drivers get severely injured in the process of testing the vehicle. You might be wondering if you should file a lawsuit for compensation or approach a personal injury attorney Virginia Beach VA.
In Virginia, a fault-based system is used to determine the liability for accidents. Suppose you have received injuries during the test drive due to someone else’s fault. In that case, you can either seek help from personal injury lawyers in Virginia Beach to file a personal injury lawsuit, approach your insurance company, or make a third-party claim against defective auto-parts.