The law allows victims of auto accidents to seek compensation for injuries and property damage they suffered. In many cases, the major challenge is determining which driver is responsible for the incident. Every driver must use reasonable care while driving and failure to do so mean that he or she was negligent and is to blame for the crash.
Have you ever realize that the law can hold someone else (who wasn’t even driving at the time of the crash) responsible for the incident? Though this is a little bit surprising, it happens. Here are some of the situations the law could hold you liable even when you were not in the vehicle when the accident happened.
Your employee was driving your vehicle
Generally, the law holds you (the employer) responsible for the wrongful choices made by your employees while on the job. This concept is known as imputed negligence or vicarious liability. According to this law, when two individuals have a specific relationship, one party could be held responsible for the misconduct of the other party. Negligent or reckless driving isn’t an exception.
For instance, if your worker runs a red light and hits another vehicle while driving your business vehicle while handling his or her official duties, there is a good chance you will be held responsible for the damages resulting from the incident. In this situation, you need a good Grand Junction car accident lawyer to help you understand your legal options.
You have permitted another person to drive your vehicle
In some countries and states, vehicle owners are liable for reckless driving by another person using their cars with their permission. The law doesn’t require you to have a specific relationship with the person you have permitted to use your vehicle. Therefore, the moment you hand over your car keys to someone, you may be on the hook for their choices on the road.
You permitted an incompetent or inexperienced driver to drive your car
If you permit an unskilled or reckless driver to use your car, and someone gets injured due to the driver’s recklessness, you will be held liable for the damages or injuries associated with the incident. This concept is known as negligent entrustment. In such a case, the plaintiff must prove that the vehicle owner knew or must have been aware that the driver wasn’t experienced. Here are some of the issues you must think about before you hand over your car keys to any driver.
- Underage or unlicensed drivers
- Drunk or intoxicated driver
- Previously reckless driver
- A driver who is sick or under medication
- Elderly driver
Seek legal help
If your kid was driving your car and anyone else, caused an accident, someone got injured, and now you are on the hook for negligent driving, act fast. Such personal injury lawsuits are complex. Consult with an experienced lawyer who can help you know your options and represent you when necessary.