Why You May Be Liable For Your Car's Accident Even If You Were Not The Driver


In many accident cases, it is the drivers of the cars who are held liable for the ensuing injuries and damages. This is usually the case when the drivers are also the car's owners. However, there are legal principles that may hold you responsible for accidents that involve your car, even if you were not on the driver's seat. Here are three examples of these principles:

Vicarious Liability

This legal theory holds you responsible for accidents caused by your subordinates. For example, if you send your driver to deliver a certain package, and he or she ends up causing an accident, then you may be partially held responsible for the injuries.

Vicarious liability only applies if the subordinate was doing something for you. As an employer, this means that he or she must have been engaged in his or her normal duties. Therefore, if your driver causes an accident while going to pick his or her girlfriend or boyfriend from the airport, then vicarious liability does not make you responsible for the damages.

Negligent Entrustment

This law becomes relevant if you lend your car to an incompetent or reckless driver, and he or she ends up causing an accident. Unlike vicarious liability, negligent entrapment applies even if the driver isn't your subordinate. Examples of reckless or incompetent drivers include drunk, sick, or unlicensed persons. This is because you are supposed to know that such drivers are prone to accidents.

Of course, the court will not just take anybody's word without proof. In order to succeed with this claim, the plaintiff will need to prove these things:

  • You entrusted your car to the driver
  • The driver was incompetent or reckless
  • You knew (or should have known) about this recklessness or incompetence
  • The driver was negligent in his or her driving
  • His or her negligence caused the accident

Parental Liability

If the driver is your child, then this fact alone is enough to make you responsible for the accident he or she causes. This is because the law imputes (transfers) certain acts from children to parents for legal purposes. Parental liability usually applies to minor children; state laws determine the age limit.

In some states, the plaintiff may have to prove that you contributed to the child's negligent by showing that you could foresee the danger (perhaps you knew your child was a bad driver) or that a reasonable parent (in your position) could have foreseen it.

Therefore, you should be careful when loaning people your car. Ensure that they are not incompetent or reckless, and never let your child drive your car if he or she doesn't have a license yet.

To learn more, contact a personal injury firm like Modesitt Law Offices PC


4 August 2015

Maximizing Compensation in Accident and Injury Lawuits

Hi, my name is Sally. I was living a pretty average, uneventful life until I had an accident. At that point, my life become more stressful and painful than I could have ever imagined. Sadly, my accident happened on private property, and it could have been prevented if the owner of the property had kept up with his shoveling. For months, I missed work, suffered through constant pain and become more and more depressed. Finally, a friend referred me to an accident and injury lawyer, and she showed me how to get the compensation that I deserved. I don't want to see anyone else suffer like I did, and because of that, I decided to create this blog. Here, I hope anyone who has been injured can find the information they need to get fully compensated and regain their lives. Enjoy your reading and thanks for stopping by!