What if the other driver was not the vehicle owner?

If the driver who hit you does not own the vehicle it is possible that both the driver and the vehicle owner are liable for your injuries.

There may be vicarious liability for an auto accident in several scenarios, including:

  • Employer/Employee. An employer is responsible for injury caused by the negligent driving of an employee so long as the employee was acting within the scope of employment. If the employee without permission went on a frolic and detour from job duties the employer might not be liable, though the driver still would be.
  • Parent/Child. Under the family car doctrine a parent is responsible for the negligent driving of a child operating with the parent’s express or implied permission a car customarily used by family members for family purposes.
  • Owner/operator. There is a rebuttable presumption that a driver of an automobile was acting as agent of the owner, making the owner liable.
  • Negligent entrustment. A vehicle owner can be liable if the owner entrusts a vehicle to another driver the owner knew or should have know was reckless or incompetent to drive. For example, the owner can be liable if the owner knew or should have known that the driver was unlicensed.

These are a few of the scenarios where a vehicle owner may be responsible for injuries caused by someone else operating their vehicle. For advice about your situation contact us for a free personal injury case evaluation.  

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