Determining liability in car accidents can be difficult. In some cases, a responsible party may have not been driving either car at the time of the accident. You may not have considered that parties other than a driver can be held liable in certain circumstances. Motor vehicle accidents, even seemingly straightforward ones, often present complicated issues. For this reason, it is almost always advisable to engage the services of a car accident attorney to assist you when you’ve been injured through no fault of your own.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact Attorney Group to discuss your options in a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation. If you wish to pursue a claim, we can connect you with an affiliated Oklahoma car accident lawyer who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Important: The time you have to pursue a claim is limited. Contact us for more information.
Examples of Non-Driver Liability in Car Accidents
There are several situations in which a non-driver can be found responsible for an accident, even though the non-driver was not even in the car when the accident occurred.
1. When an employee causes an accident while on company business.
Under a legal theory called respondeat superior, an employer can be liable for the negligent acts of an employee while that employee is performing company business. This includes driving a car. Accordingly, if an employee driving a car on company business (whether her own car or a company car) and causes an accident, both the employee and the employer could be help liable for any damages resulting from the accident.
2. When a parent lets their minor child use a family car.
In many states, parents are legally responsible for the negligence of their children, including when the child causes a car accident. For example, if a child who turned sixteen and obtained a valid drivers license borrows the family car and causes an accident, the parents will likely be held responsible for the child’s fault. Some states even require parents to sign a document accepting such responsibility at the time the child receives his or her license.
3. When a vehicle owner lets an impaired driver use his car.
This basis of liability, known as negligent entrustment, is perhaps a little easier to understand than the other two. If a person lets an impaired driver operate his vehicle and the impaired driver causes an accident, the owner should typically be responsible for letting an unsafe driver use vehicle. A common example of negligent entrustment is when a car is loaned to an intoxicated person.
One case, out of New Jersey, even suggests that in certain circumstances the party with whom a driver who causes an accident is texting may be liable for contributing to the cause of the accident!
Injured Drivers and Passengers May Be Entitled to Compensation
Driver and passengers who are injured in car accidents caused by someone else’s negligence may be entitled to compensation for damages resulting from injuries. Damages can include:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of ability to work
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
If someone is killed in accident caused by another person’s negligence, the family members of that person may be able to pursue claims for wrongful death damages, which may include:
- Funeral expenses
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from the loss of a loved one
- Loss of relationship with a loved one
Car accidents often present complicated issues, such as determining all potential responsible parties, and negotiating fair and reasonable compensation for injuries and other damages is likewise often difficult. People who have been injured in a car accident are advised to seek qualified legal counsel to help them protect their legal rights.
Contact Us For More Information
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, contact Attorney Group for more information. You can fill out the form on this page, call us at the number listed at the top of the page, or email us at [email protected].
When you contact us, an attorney will follow up with you to speak with you about your case or answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.
See our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information, and contact the Oklahoma Injury Attorney Group today.