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Borrowed car accident: Fault
1 month ago, my sister in law was involved in a big car accident while driving our car (the car and insurance is under my husband's name). She was the second car in the whole chain of 5 or six.
She and our car were not bad, but some cars were total lost. It was a snowy day and she said the car in front of her lost control and spinning backward hitting her. She was out of the lane and other car (I guess a truck) hit her from the back. Then, 3 other cars was hit by the truck spinning.
However, the insurance of car in front of her claimed my sister in law 's fault, with different statement from their client (that girl admitted to hit my sister in law, but said because my sister in law lost control). There is a truck who claimed to be behind my sister and claimed my sister's fault too. Our car was hit (gently) from both front and back.
The police report is not ready yet, and we are trying hard to obtain it. We also reported the accident to our insurance company. I am very anxious, because when my sister in law was sent into hospital, the girl before her and the guy after talked to each other very long, and we doubt they try to put every fault on my sister's side.
Although I do not believe it was my sister' fault (since she was hit from both side, and the front car admitted to hit her), we are very worried at this point.
My question is: how can we prove it was not her fault without police report? Is there any chance we get into law suit or should we file a law suit first? If the liability is beyond my husband policy's coverage, who is liable -my husband? or me also? or her?
I am very depressed now. Please provide your help and your advice on what should we do??.
I see. Here are your questions and I will address each one of them.
My question is: how can we prove it was not her fault without police report?
The police report is only evidence of fault. In other words, the police report may or may not determine fault at all. It is important to have it because there it can say who lost control and who did not.
If you sister in law lost control, that does not make her at fault automatically. If she lost control and the other vehicles hit her, it means that they were driving too close for conditions. They must maintain a safe distance to avoid this type of situation. If she lost control and went directly towards them, then she might have liability, but if she lost control and was stopped, then it might be a different situation.
Also, if she lost control to avoid an accident (she she did), but then was later hit, this may show that your sister in law was doing what she is supposed to do (avoid an accident).
Most accidents become an exchange of it is her fault it is my fault. The fault issue needs to be addressed by the insurance companies and adjusters.
Is there any chance we get into law suit or should we file a law suit first? If the liability is beyond my husband policy's coverage, who is liable -my husband? or me also? or her?
No lawsuits quite yet. First the insurance company will have to decide on fault. If your sister in law is at fault, then your insurance policy (the one that is insuring the car) will have to provide for a lawyer and a defense, in case the other party insist it is your fault and actually sue you.
Can you be liable? Well your policy is. Insurance follows the car. If she has another policy, it is possible that her personal insurance might act as secondary. After that, you might be liable. That would be a very long process and we are assuming that the damages are very very high. It is unlikely that this would happen, but can it happen? yeah it can.
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