Posted on February 13, 2018

What is the key issue that lurks at the basis for every car accident? Who is at fault. If a party acted negligently, it is safe to say that they are probably liable for your accident. However, you may be surprised to find that the law can assign fault to parties who were not even present when your accident occurred! How is this so? Today we will look at some of the ways that uninvolved parties are actually more involved than you may have thought.

Unique Circumstances

liable for anotherEmployee Driving Car: Employers can be responsible for a variety of different aspects. This includes negligent driving by an employee. Of course, this only applies when the employee is within the scope of employment and not when they are driving on their own time. It is part of a larger theory known as “vicarious liability.” Here is an example of this happening: A boss decides to have their employee run errands for your company. While they are doing so, they run a red light and hit another vehicle. The employer could actually be partially or fully liable in covering damages for the injured. 

Loaning Your Vehicle: If a party has loaned their vehicle to another driver, they could be liable if that driver gets into an accident in their vehicle. Once you give permission to someone to drive your car, you may be on the hook for their actions depending on the laws of the state. 

Kids Driving Car: Under several laws, you could be liable for your child’s actions when you loan your vehicle to them. These laws include the following:

  • Negligent Entrustment: This happens when a parent loans the vehicle to their child even though they know that the child is inexperienced or reckless when driving. They could be liable for injuries that occur.
  • Family Purpose: This comes into play when somebody purchases a vehicle for family use, and takes on liability if anyone who uses the vehicle gets into an accident.
  • Signing Driver’s License: In some states, if you sign a minor’s driver’s license application, you could be liable for their actions if they get into an accident.

Incompetent Driver: If you lend your vehicle to an incompetent or unfit driver and they get into an accident, you will be liable for injuries and any resulting damages. However, the injured must be able to prove that the car owner knew that the driver was incompetent. Here are some examples:

  • An intoxicated driver
  • Unlicensed or underage driver
  • Inexperienced driver
  • Elderly driver
  • Ill driver
  • Previously reckless driver

As you can see, there are many ways in which another party could be liable or “on the hook” for someone’s actions while they are driving a vehicle. It is important to know your rights in any case, especially when you have been seriously injured by another party and you’re unsure of where to turn. Call us today for more information on how we can help you at the Accident Law Group. We are waiting to hear from you at 602-262-4254.