There are plenty of new and used car dealerships in New Jersey. For the
most part, when someone is shopping for an automobile, they’ll usually
test-drive one, if not several vehicles before deciding on which vehicle
to buy or lease.
Before people take a car out for a test drive, the dealership usually makes
a copy of the person’s driver license and auto insurance, but this
doesn’t happen 100 percent of the time. Sometimes, the dealer only
makes a copy of the person’s driver license, but they don’t
make a copy of their auto insurance card. Other times, the salesman doesn’t
Legal Liability in a Crash in a Dealer Car
Let’s assume you went to a car dealership and the salesman did not
get a copy of your license and insurance. While on the test drive, you
accidentally caused a crash and as a result, you damaged the dealer’s car and the other driver’s
car, plus the other driver was hurt. In this case, who is at fault? Are
you, or the dealership legally liable for the car accident you caused?
Since New Jersey is a
no-fault state, the other driver would file a claim with their own auto insurance company
for their medical bills, even though you were at-fault. The other driver’s
medical bills would be paid by their Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
coverage. However, property damage and pain and suffering are another story.
Assuming you’re insured, your liability insurance would pay for other
damages from the accident you caused. Your Bodily Injury Liability coverage
would pay for the other driver’s pain and suffering. Then, your
Property Damage Liability coverage would pay for the property damage to
the other driver’s car, as well as the damage to the dealership’s vehicle.
“What if I don’t have auto insurance?” In this case,
the other driver and the dealership could file a lawsuit against you for
damages not covered by their insurance, so that is something to be aware
of next time you take a dealer’s car out for a test drive. To learn
more about New Jersey’s auto insurance laws,
To file a car accident claim in New Jersey,
contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law today.