In most cases stemming from auto accidents, the process of determining liability and holding the negligent driver responsible is relatively straightforward. However, there are some circumstances in which the fault for the accident belongs to someone who was not driving or even present when the crash happened.
Below are a few common examples of this scenario:
Employees driving a vehicle
Employers are considered liable for wrongful acts of their employees, including negligent driving, so long as those wrongful acts occur in the scope of that employee’s work. This is due to the legal principle of vicarious liability, which means the actions of the employee are the same, in essence, as those of the employer.
Someone else drives your car
In some circumstances, car owners may be legally responsible for negligent driving by anyone using the vehicle (if that person had permission to do so). In municipalities that have these laws, once you have provided someone else with permission to drive your car, you are responsible for the individual’s actions behind the wheel.
Your kids drive your car
Parents are liable for the negligent driving of their children. There are several different legal theories that allow for parents to be held responsible in these circumstances.
Negligent entrustment, for example, involves a parent lending the family car to a child who is known to be incompetent or reckless. The family purpose doctrine is another such example. When a person purchases and maintains a vehicle for general family use, the owner of the vehicle is responsible for negligent driving by any family member using it.
To learn more about determining liability for a car accident, speak with an experienced San Diego personal injury attorney at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire.