When it comes to auto accident claims, there is typically one key issue – determining who (person or entity) is at fault for the incident.
Typically, this boils down to proving negligence, or the fact that the driver failed to exercise reasonable caution or care while driving. However, there are situations where an individual or entity may be held liable, despite not being present in the vehicle at the time of the accident.
Though these cases tend to be a bit more complex, it’s important to note that there are a number of scenarios in which these circumstances might occur.
Employees Driving Cars
Because many companies rely on a network of drivers as part of their business model – ridesharing, manufacturing, construction, food service, etc. – the issue of assigning liability in auto accidents can grow increasingly complicated.
In fact, according to state law in California, employers may be held liable for the negligent acts of their employees, under a theory known as “imputed negligence” or “vicarious liability”. This notion decrees that the law may hold a party liable for another’s misconduct, if they have a certain relationship, such as that of an employer-employee.
Allowing Someone Else to Operate a Car
Additionally, according to some state statutes, car owners may legally be found liable if the collision occurred while someone else was driving the vehicle, with the owner’s permission. Unlike vicarious liability cases, these laws do not require the parties to have a certain relationship. Once permission has been granted to operate the vehicle, the owner is considered to be on the hook for any and all actions.
Granting Access to Reckless or Otherwise Incompetent Drivers
A vehicle owner may also be held liable for the actions of another if that individual is considered to be reckless, unfit or otherwise incompetent, to the point where it is considered negligent entrustment. This is most commonly seen in cases involving intoxicated or underage drivers, but may also involve drivers who are inexperienced, unlicensed, elderly or previously determined to be reckless.
However, it’s worth noting that these cases require proof that the car owner knowingly granted permission to a risky individual, in order to yield a successful result.
Filing Personal Injury Claims for Automobile Accidents
If you or someone you love has experienced injury as a result of an auto accident, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim, which can help recover financial compensation or other damages that you may be entitled to.
That’s where the highly-skilled Sherman Oaks auto accident attorneys at Fox & Fox Law Corporation come in.
With more than 30 years of experience in litigating personal injury matters in a trial setting, our firm serves as the premier personal injury resource for victims throughout the Los Angeles area. When it comes to handling these types of cases, our attorneys possess the knowledge, commitment and experience necessary to see your case through to a successful resolution.
Still unsure of whether or not you have a personal injury claim? We are happy to offer new clients the ease of a no-obligation, complimentary initial consultation, in order to help assess your case.