Why The Other Driver May Not Be The Only Party Responsible For Your Car Accident Injuries
If you are involved in a car accident, the driver of the other car is the party you are most likely to sue for your injuries and damages. However, in some cases, the driver isn't the only person you can hold liable for your losses. Here are three examples of other parties, other than the driver, who you may sue for your accident-related injuries:
The Owner of the Vehicle
If the driver doesn't own the car they were driving, then you should also examine if you can hold the owner liable for your injuries and damages. This may be possible if you can prove that the owner's negligence directly caused the accident. For example, if the owner knew that the car had a defective brake, and still gave it to another person to drive, then the owner will be responsible for any accident caused by the defective brake. This may be the case even if the owner isn't an individual, but a business entity, such as a rental car company.
The Driver's Employer
If the motorist was driving their employer's car, you might also be able to hold the employer liable for the accident. Here are the three main legal principles that make this possible:
- Employer's negligence – For example, if the employer hired a driver with multiple DUI convictions in their driving history.
- Negligent supervision – For example, if the employer doesn't have or doesn't enforce safety driving laws for the drivers.
- Vicarious liability – This principle holds an employer responsible for their employee's actions as long as the employee was doing something beneficial to the employer at the time of the accident.
The Driver's Parents
If the motorist was a minor, see if you can hold their parents liable for the accident. This may be possible under the legal principle of parental liability, which holds parents responsible for the negligent acts of their children.
Parental liability isn't a blanket blame for holding parents responsible for all the negligent acts of their children. The circumstances surrounding the minor's actions determine whether parental liability applies, and to which extent. In most cases, you can only hold the parents responsible if you can prove that they would have known or should have known about their child's negligent tendencies but failed to do anything to stop it.
These are just a few examples; the list isn't exhaustive for everybody you can sue after a car accident. It just goes to show that you should never rush when making a car accident claim, especially if your injuries or the damages to your car are extensive and costly. Consulting a car accident lawyer can help you to identify all the liable parties so you can maximize your claim settlement.
For more information, contact a firm such as Walz Law Office.