You shouldn't buy a car without test driving it first. Unfortunately, it's possible to get into a car accident even for a ride around the block. If that happens, one of the first things that may crop into your mind is who is liable for the damages. Well, there are several routes the issue can take; for example, you can:

Let the Dealership Pay

Most dealers buy insurance coverage for situations just like this. Therefore, if you are lucky, the dealer will just use their own insurance for the damages. This is the most likely option if the fault wasn't yours; for example, if a sudden storm or debris on the road causes the accident. However, don't expect the dealer to let you off the hook if you cause the accident; for example if it turns out that you lost control of the car because you were intoxicated.

Buy the Car

If you had decided to buy the car, then you can still buy it and fix the damages. It just doesn't make sense to buy the car because of the damages if you hadn't made up your mind to buy it. The nature of the damages may also determine whether this is a smart move. For example, a few scratches on the car shouldn't bother you; those are things you can easily get fixed. However, think twice before buying a car with a major damage; some issues are difficult to fix and may even make the car difficult to resell.

Let Your Insurance Pay

If you have a valid car insurance, then your carrier can pick up the tab and settle the dealer's claim. In fact, this is what the dealer may demand if you were alone in the car at the time of the accident; that is, you didn't have any representative from the dealership in the car.

Of course, not all private insurance companies cover such risks. Therefore, make sure your insurance policy extends to vehicles you do not own before promising anything to the dealership.

Go After the Responsible Party

If another person other than you is responsible for the damage then you should treat it just like any other accident and make them pay the damages. This is especially a good route if the fault full belongs to the other driver; for example, if a drunk motorist weaves out of their lane and knocks your car on the side.

It's clear that liability and compensation can be pretty complicated for these cases. Therefore, it's in your best interest to consult a car accident attorney, especially if the damage is serious, before taking any action.

Contact professionals like Baudler, Maus, Forman, Kritzer & Wagner, LLP to learn more.