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test driving car accidentIf you’ve recently been involved in a motor vehicle crash while test-driving a car, you may be panicking. Chances are that the car you were testing out was either brand new or expensive enough that any damage you may have caused is not in your family’s budget to fix… especially because you need to be able to afford a new vehicle right now as well. 

While your panic is understandable, you’ll want to take a deep breath and reach out to the knowledgeable legal team at The Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC. Once you schedule a free consultation by calling 949-727-9300 or contacting us online, we’ll be able to assist you in evaluating your options. Chances are that you will not be left on the hook for the damage you’ve caused. 

Minor Damage

Most of the time, if the damage to a car that is being test driven is truly minor, the dealership will cover the cost. Don’t be afraid to ask if this is the case, and don’t be afraid to empower your lawyer to inquire about the dealership’s policies. 

Communicating with a dealership can be intimidating, especially when you’ve just damaged one of its vehicles. Allowing a lawyer to speak on your behalf can relieve you of the pressure to unravel its policies. Additionally, personal injury attorneys who handle car accident cases are generally so well-versed in what questions to ask and how to secure the most favorable outcomes for their clients that you’ll likely be pleased with whatever arrangement results from allowing them to handle the “Who covers the damage?” discussions on your behalf. 

Significant Damage 

Most car dealerships carry fleet insurance. Fleet insurance policies cover the vehicles owned by the dealership before that ownership is transferred to anyone who buys them. When vehicles are operating in a test-driving capacity, they are generally covered by fleet insurance. These policies generally cover anyone who is driving a test vehicle. 

If a test-drive crash results in significant damage, the fleet insurance policy will likely cover some of the losses and may even cover all of them. However, it is unlikely that the car dealer’s fleet insurance policy will cover all the damage if the vehicle is truly wrecked. Under these circumstances, the dealer will likely maximize their coverage and file a third-party claim with the driver’s auto insurance policy. If this occurs and you’re on the receiving end of such a claim, your premium will likely be increased. 

Any time you’re involved in an auto crash that causes significant property damage (or any kind of injury), you must speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. If possible, don’t admit blame, don’t communicate with any insurance representatives or employees of the dealership, and don’t sign anything until you’ve had the chance to speak with a lawyer. You won’t know for sure that you were at fault for the crash until the circumstances of your accident have been thoroughly investigated. By allowing a lawyer to speak for you and advocate for your interests, you’ll be in the strongest possible position to minimize liability for your crash. 

You don’t have to navigate the stresses of a test drive crash alone. Connect with our firm today for more information about your rights, your options, and our approach to representation. We look forward to speaking with you.