Call for a Free Consultation : 856-667-4666

Can You Be Liable for a Car Accident When You Weren’t Driving the Car?

Liability for the Driving of Third Parties

Car AccidentIn the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, the first thing you typically look at is fault. Who caused the accident and how did it happen? Often, it’s exclusively the fault of one of the drivers. But there are situations where third parties can be found responsible for injuries suffered in a car crash. Let’s look at a couple situations:

When Employees Cause Auto Accidents

If a worker or employee causes a motor vehicle accident while performing duties related to his or her job, the employer may have some liability under a legal doctrine known as “respondeat superior.” It’s based on the legal principle of agency—the employer is considered a principal and the employee an agent. It’s important, however, to understand that the actions the employee was engaged in must be within the scope of the agency. If, for example, the employee was engaged in a wholly personal activity…on his way to or from lunch or headed out to run some errands, there may not be liability. In addition, if the employee’s behavior is egregious—he was drinking and driving on the job (unbeknownst to the employer), the employer may also escape responsibility.

Allowing a Third Party to Drive Your Car

In some states, merely allowing someone else to drive your car can make you liable for any injuries they cause. There’s no requirement of employment—liability is implied.

Under a legal theory of “negligent entrustment,” if you know that another driver is careless, incompetent or unfit to drive, and you allow that person to take your car, you can be held responsible. The doctrine of negligent entrustment can also be applied if your children cause an accident. However, you must know that your child lacks the requisite skills or care to be on the road.

You can also be held responsible for the negligent driving of your children under the “family purpose” rule. This principle holds that when you send any member out to do something for the family—get groceries, wash the car, etc.—you can be held liable for their negligence.

Contact Attorney David J. Karbasian

Contact our office online or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. The sooner you call, the sooner you can move forward with your claim. We can accommodate evening or weekend meeting requests and will come to your home, if necessary.

Protecting Your Rights after a Car Accident

In the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, there can be great confusion. You may not know the precise cause of the accident or the full extent of your injuries. However, if you have been hurt because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you have a right to pursue a monetary award to cover you losses. Here are specific measures to take to fully protect your rights:

Step One—Get the Medical Attention You Need

There’s nothing more important, after a car wreck, than ensuring you get all the medical care you need. Recognize up front that this is not the time to be stoic, tough or brave. You need to be willing to fully acknowledge the seriousness of your injuries. If you don’t, you may actually make things worse.

If you don’t feel like you can move under your own power, or you have any doubts about the nature of your injuries, stay put (as long as it’s safe to do so). Instead of diagnosing your own injuries, defer to the professionals. Wait until emergency medical technicians arrive and let them do what they are trained to do. If you need to leave the scene in an ambulance, be willing to do so.

Even if your injuries appear to minor, or you can move about under your own power, it’s still important to go to the hospital, an urgent care facility or to your family doctor as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the greater the risk that your injuries will get worse, or that you’ll have an intervening accident that makes it difficult to determine the source of all your injuries.

Be sure that you disclose all your injuries to medical personnel. Don’t focus on the obvious injury—the broken leg—and ignore the pain or stiffness in your back, neck or muscles. Often, those injuries can be more debilitating and take longer to heal.

Step Two—Gather Information

The more information you gather at the time of the accident, the easier it will typically be for your attorney when it comes time to resolve your case. Get contact information from everyone involved in the accident, as well as witnesses or bystanders. Take pictures of everything, from your injuries to the damage to all vehicles to weather conditions to any evidence on the roadway (skid marks, loose gravel, missing or blocked signage).

The most important thing to do, though, and as soon as possible—hire an experienced attorney to protect your rights. Even when liability seems obvious, a personal injury lawsuit can be time-consuming and complex.

 

Contact Attorney David J. Karbasian

Contact our office online or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. The sooner you call, the sooner you can move forward with your claim. We can accommodate evening or weekend meeting requests and will come to your home, if necessary.

© 2019 karbasianlaw All Rights Reserved.
Sitemap | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

Chat Banner

Can We Help You?