If it is not an entity or company of some sort, it is usually pegged on the negligent driver. But what if someone else was driving your car? Would you be responsible for any damages they inflict on another if they were to be involved in a car accident? Continue reading to learn the various scenarios of liability.
Vicarious LiabilityIn the case that another person drives your vehicle and causes an accident, you could be held responsible for the financial damages and losses incurred to the victims involved. You could be sued for negligence even if you weren’t in the vehicle at all. To better understand this duty of care, you must understand vicarious liability.
Vicarious liability is a form of imputed negligence that results when two parties have a relationship, such as parent-child, employer-employee, teacher-student, and so forth. In such relationships, one person’s actions can actually be another person’s legal responsibility. In the case that you loan your vehicle to someone within such a relationship, you could face consequences for their actions under Vicarious Liability Law.
Kids Driving Parents Car
If you are a parent that allows your child to drive your vehicle, keep in mind that you are the perfect candidate for vicarious liability. In many states, there is a law called “Negligent Entrustment”, in which the “entrusters” (the parents) entrusts their minor to operate their vehicle knowing they are in some way incompetent (i.e. unlicensed, underage, reckless, inexperienced, etc.). There is another law called the Family Purpose Doctrine, which holds the parents liable for any damages caused to another as a result of their child driving their vehicle, regardless if they were given permission or not. However, these law vary from state to state.
Negligent entrustment law also applies to other people outside of family. If you knowingly allow another person to operate your vehicle who is incompetent or unfit in some way, you will be responsible for any accidents they cause.
Employees and Employers
Under vicarious liability law, employers are liable for any negligent driving the takes place by an employee while performing work-related duties. For instance, if a pizza delivery driver is delivering a pizza on the clock, but runs a red light and collides into a van full of people, the employer is responsible for all damages and losses sustained by the victims of the accident.
When it comes to car accidents, liability, and compensation, it is important to discuss these concerns with an experienced personal injury attorney. They can help you determine what rights you have to compensation after being negligently injured in an accident that was no fault of your own.