Placing The Blame: Scenarios Naming A Vehicle Owner As The Liable Party

A large portion of Americans will find themselves involved in a vehicle accident at least once in their lifetime. The severity of those accidents can depend on the circumstance that caused them. In most vehicle accidents, a driver’s fault is determined through certain factors such as weather, road conditions or the driver’s negligent actions. However, what if the vehicle’s owner is not the driver?

Employees Driving A Company Car

According to the law, employers can be held accountable for any unlawful acts committed by their employees. One of these acts is negligent driving. In some situations, the law can assign fault to a party who was neither operating the vehicle or even present. This falls under the vicarious liability clause which states that a superior is responsible for the acts of a subordinate. For example, if a UPS driver did not yield to a crosswalk and struck a pedestrian, not only can the driver face a lawsuit, UPS can as well.

Another Person Operates The Vehicle

It isn’t uncommon for parents to allow their children to drive their vehicles. Those parents are liable for any actions committed by their children while they operate the vehicle.  The following legal clauses can name a parent as responsible:

  • Family Purpose Doctrine – In some states, an adult purchasing a vehicle is held liable for any actions taken by a member of his/her family who operates the automobile.
  • Negligent Entrustment – If a parent entrusts their child, whom they know is not competent enough to operate a car, they may be held liable for an accident involving the vehicle.
  • Liability via signing a minor’s license application – In some states, a parent can be held liable by signing their child’s driver’s license application if that child were to have been involved in an accident later on.

Contact Us

Have you found yourself the victim of an incompetent driver? A team of skilled litigators from the J. Gonzalez Law Firm of McAllen can help. Contact us at 956.630.6700.