In the majority of accident cases involving two vehicles, one of the two drivers will be considered at fault for the accident, based on their own negligent actions. However, there are some circumstances in which a person who was not driving or even at the accident scene at all can be considered liable.
Here are a few examples of these scenarios:
- Letting someone else drive your car: Car owners are responsible in some cases for negligent driving on the part of anyone using the car with their permission. If, for example, you let a friend or sibling drive your vehicle and they are not insured for that vehicle, you may be responsible for their actions.
- Employees driving a car: The law holds employers liable for wrongful actions committed by an employee driving a vehicle in the scope of their employment. This legal principle is referred to as “vicarious liability,” in which the actions of the employee are considered the same in essence as those of the employer. So, for example, if a person driving a company vehicle runs through a stop sign and hits another vehicle, the victim would file the lawsuit against the employer rather than the driver, so long as the driver was driving the vehicle as part of their duties of employment.
- A child driving a vehicle: Parents are considered liable for their children’s driving. The legal principle of “negligent entrustment” often applies to teen accidents if the parent lends the car to a child knowing the child is reckless or incompetent. Some states also have a “family purpose” doctrine, in which a person who purchases and keeps a car for general use by the family is responsible for any negligent driving committed by any member of the family.
For more information about circumstances in which a person can be liable for an accident even if not driving, contact an experienced Bradenton, FL accident lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.