There’s plenty of places to buy a car in Biloxi. Test driving a car can be nerve wracking experience because you’re driving a vehicle that is new to you. You want to look at all the unfamiliar features that you can even though doing so may be a distraction. Cars can also have different sensitivities for the gas, brakes, steering, and other features, which may take the driver by surprise.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident while test driving a vehicle at a car dealership, it will help you to know how liability is handled in these situations. The first thing to know is that no matter what, you want to file a police report after any collision, but especially during a test drive. This proves that the incident happened, and the officer might write down who they find responsible in their report. This can help you if anyone takes you to court for the accident in a vehicle you were test driving.
Who Is Responsible for a Collision While on a Test Drive?
Before you buy a car, you want to test drive it so that you see it in action. Since test drives are an expected part of the buying process, dealerships have fleet insurance that covers all of the cars on their lot. When you test drive with a salesperson, you are covered under the dealership’s policy.
This insurance usually covers all accidents on test drives, regardless of who is at fault for an accident. If an accident occurs on the car dealership lot but it wasn’t from a test drive, their fleet insurance also covers damages to any vehicles.
If another driver was at fault for the accident, the dealership might even file a claim against them. They could recover damages from them for harming their inventory from negligence or any other offence.
However, if you were at fault for the accident, any injured parties could file a lawsuit against you even though you were covered under the dealership’s policy at the time. You would have to let your personal insurer know what happened. Typically, your regular car insurance policy also applies when you are test driving a vehicle, so you’d have to provide that information to the party making a claim.
If you are injured in the test drive crash, then both the dealership’s and the negligent party’s insurance could cover the damages. If the car you were driving was faulty in any way, the dealership can be more responsible because they allowed you to drive an unreliable car.
When You’re Liable
Dealerships will sometimes have a test driver sign a waiver before going for a spin. This waives the dealership’s coverage in the event of an accident, but most dealerships have stopped having customers sign these papers. They found that they resulted in fewer test drives because buyers felt they were too risky, which then reduced the amount of sales.
It’s rare, but sometimes you test drive your new vehicle after you buy it. If you have the title or have bought the car, then it’s no longer the dealership’s vehicle, and so the dealership’s insurance no longer covers the test drive. Before you purchase a car, you should inform your insurance company so that you are covered for that car when you drive off the lot. Otherwise, you would be an uninsured driver in a car crash.
What About the Car?
In the case of test-driving cars, the saying that “if you break it, you buy it” does not apply. It’s important to know that you are not liable to buy a car from a dealer if you were in a collision during the test drive. Whether you were responsible for the accident or not, they cannot force you to buy the car. But if the damage was minor and you’re still interested in it, you might be able to negotiate the price down considerably after it’s fixed.
Car accidents can affect your everyday life. When there’s an injury involved, you have physical pain and possibly emotional and financial pain as well. Corban Gunn can help you get back on your feet. Contact us today for a free consultation so that you can start focusing on healing while we focus on the legal side of things.
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