If you are considering buying a new car, test driving the vehicle is an important part of the decision-making process. A car is an expensive investment. Therefore, it is prudent to test drive a vehicle before making a final decision.
Before getting behind the wheel of your next potential car, a car dealership will require that you provide a copy of a valid driver’s license. Some dealerships might also need proof of insurance. However, this is not always the case – especially if you are buying your first car. Some dealerships will allow you to drive the car independently, while others will have a salesperson accompany you. Nonetheless, driving the car is the only way to get a firsthand impression of how the car feels and handles. However, what happens if you are test driving a car and are involved in an accident? The first question to answer is, “who was at fault?”
How the car accident occurred will impact what happens next. In many cases, an accident that occurs while taking a test drive is similar to any other car accident. Most dealerships carry insurance to cover damages to their vehicle. If another driver caused the crash, you could have a valid personal injury claim against them. However, if you caused the accident, you might be liable for any injuries and damages. The first thing you should do if you were in an accident while test driving a vehicle is contact our experienced Fayetteville car accident lawyers. For a free appointment, call (479) 316-0438.
How Accidents Happen When Test Driving a Car in Arkansas
Car accidents that occur while test driving a car happen for the same reasons as many other car crashes. Some of the most common reasons include careless, reckless, or distracted driving. However, if you were involved in an accident while test driving a vehicle, an insurance company or defense attorney will likely allege you were at fault.
If you are test driving a car, the operation of the vehicle is probably unfamiliar. While every car works basically the same way, being unaccustomed to the car’s layout or handling could result in an accident. For example, you might not realize how much pressure to apply to the brakes, how fast the vehicle accelerates, or how the car handles turns. If an accident occurs, an aggressive defense attorney or insurance adjuster will argue that your unfamiliarity with the vehicle caused or contributed to the crash.
Another issue arises when a test driver is talking with a salesperson accompanying the drive. The salesperson will be extolling the vehicle’s features while you might have several questions. If you are distracted by the conversation, you might lose focus on the road.
Determining fault is a key component in any car accident case, including those involving individuals test driving an automobile. It is critical to contact our Arkansas car accident attorney if you are involved in an accident while test driving a car. Neither the salesperson nor the other driver is concerned about your rights. Additionally, it is not uncommon for every driver in an accident to blame the other driver. Because of some of the nuances associated with a test drive accident, you need experienced legal representation.
Who is Liable After an Accident During a Test Drive in Arkansas?
Nearly every car dealership will have insurance to cover their fleet of cars. If an accident occurs, this insurance should cover the cost of repairs of the vehicle. However, if the crash was your fault, you could be held liable for any damages.
If another driver caused the crash, then a dealership should not hold you responsible for any damage to the vehicle. Furthermore, any property damage or injuries claims would be made against the at-fault driver and their insurance provider.
If the at-fault driver is uninsured, the dealership will be required to cover the cost of repairs under its insurance policy. However, this policy will not cover your injuries or medical expenses. You will have to rely on your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or uninsured motorist coverage.
If your test drive ends in an accident, you need to treat the incident in the same way you treat any other car crash. This includes seeking medical attention, calling the police, gathering witness information, and taking photographs of the scene. Additionally, you should call our Springdale car accident attorneys to understand your rights and options. While the dealership has insurance to cover the damage to its vehicle, you want to ensure you are compensated for your damages without being held liable for anything that was not your fault.
In some rare cases, a dealership might require you to sign a liability waiver before test driving a vehicle. These waivers are used to transfer all liability for any potential damages to you. You should not sign this document without fully understanding the terms. Fortunately, most dealerships refrain from asking their customers to sign these forms as few people want to assume the risks simply to test drive a car.
Our Arkansas Car Accident Attorneys Offer Free Consultations to People Injured While Test Driving a New or Used Vehicle
You do not relinquish any of your rights when you test drive a car. If you are in a crash while test driving a new or used car, the at-fault driver should be held accountable for your injuries and damages. The dealership is protected by insurance – you need to ensure you are protected as well. Our experienced Arkansas personal injury attorneys will work to build a case against the at-fault driver while countering any allegations that you contributed to the crash. Call (479) 316-0438 to talk with one of our seasoned lawyers.