I let my friend borrow a car and they got in an accident. Is that something that will affect me?

It might affect you in several ways under Texas law. Your insurance company might not pay for damages to your car. You could also be exposed to civil or criminal penalties. It depends on your insurance policy, and the circumstances of you lending the car and the accident.

Your Insurance May Fix Your Vehicle, But Not Cover Damages to Others

Under Texas law, liability insurance policy covers property damage and injuries to other people than the driver who caused an auto accident. But your liability insurance policy may only cover accidents that you caused, not someone who borrows your vehicle.

Your collision and comprehensive insurance may cover damage to your vehicle, even if you were not driving. However, if the person driving was not one of your covered drivers, the insurance company might refuse to pay. You should check your insurance policy. You also may want to speak to a Texas personal injury attorney.

You Could Face Criminal and Civil Penalties for Lending Out Your Car to an Unsafe Driver or Criminal

If you lent your car to a driver without insurance, or with an unsafe driving record, you might be responsible for injuries and damage caused by that driver in your vehicle. In legal terms, this is known as negligent entrustment.

If your vehicle was involved in a crime, you might become a suspect. If you did not know anything about the crime, you may be able to argue to a prosecutor or jury that you are innocent. But that could be a stressful, time-consuming and expensive process.

You should always exercise caution when lending your vehicle to another driver. If that driver has an accident, you might be negatively affected.

You can find out more about Texas auto insurance laws and which rules might apply in your case here.