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Can I Be Held Liable for Another Person’s Negligent Driving?

Every year car accidents occur on Missouri roads, and in most cases, one of the drivers is responsible for causing the crash.

negligent-drivingAlmost every car accident cases involves determining the driver whose negligence has caused the accident. Quite often, a driver who is drunk, distracted, or fails to follow the rules of the road is responsible for causing the accident. However, this is not always the case. Missouri car accident attorneys inform us that there are certain situations in which the law treats a person guilty of negligence even if they were not driving the vehicle or even present in the vehicle when the crash occurred. Although such cases are not very common, this can happen under several situations.

A Child Was Driving the Car

Parents may be held responsible for the negligent driving of their child. If the parents allow an underage child to drive their vehicle, they may be held responsible for their conduct. Also, if the parents allow an inexperienced, incompetent, or reckless child to drive their family vehicle, they may be responsible for the damage that they cause.

An Employee Was Driving the Car

Under vicarious liability or imputed negligence, when there is a certain relationship between two parties, one may be held responsible for the actions of another. An employer can be held liable for the negligent driving of an employee that causes an accident. For example, if the employee was on their way to deliver certain goods to a client in the car, and they tried to pass a vehicle on a two-way lane and in the process smashed into another vehicle. In this situation, you may be held liable for the negligent act of the driver.

An Incompetent or Unfit Person Was Driving Your Car

If you let an unfit or incompetent person drive your car, and they cause a car accident by their negligence, you may be held responsible for the damages. The driver is considered incompetent or unfit if they are intoxicated, inexperienced, underage, unlicensed, ill, or elderly. Persons with a history of recklessness are also treated incompetent, and if you allow them to drive your vehicle, you may have to bear responsibility of their negligence.

If you or your loved one has become the victim of a car accident caused by the negligence of not just the driver, but also of someone who might not even be present in the car at the time the accident occurred, contact The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242. You can discuss the intricacies of your case and seek expert help on the matter.

Photo credit: Frank Jania via Flickr

Updated: April 23, 2014