If you let someone else drive your car, you may be liable if they are involved in an auto accident.
What is worse than being in a car accident and being at fault – not being in your car and being responsible for damage done by another driver. If you loan your car to a family member, employee, or even a friend, and they have an accident, you may be considered negligent and liable to pay for the damages. There are situations where you might be on the hook to pay even when you have nothing to do with a vehicle collision at all.
Loaning Your Car Out
Due to vicarious liability, if you lend your car out to a driver who has a poor driving history or has a bad driver’s record, you might be found liable for any accident that they are involved in. Something called “negligent entrustment” might have you responsible for any property damage or injuries that result from anyone else driving your car, even when you weren’t behind the wheel. A St. Louis car accident attorney can help in negligent entrustment cases.
Also, due to vicarious liability and negligent entrustment, if you give your keys to your teenager and they are involved in a car collision, if they aren’t specifically listed on your automobile insurance coverage and they live with you, then you can be held liable to pay for any damages. Before you hand over the keys to your car to anyone, make sure that you know their driving record and that they are either named on your car insurance policy specifically, or that they are responsible enough to be driving a car.
Allowing an Employee to Drive a Company Car
“Respondeat superior,” or vicarious liability can make employers responsible for any accident that is the fault of their employee. The rule only applies if the worker was on the job while the accident happened. If the worker gets into a car accident while they are on their own time, then the employee wouldn’t be liable. To sort through the details of any employee accident, it is best to hire a St. Louis car accident lawyer who can decipher who is ultimately at fault.
Poorly Constructed Roadways
There are another two ways that remote or vicarious liability might be involved in a car accident. One is if the car has a defect that is responsible for an accident. If a collision is the result of a defect in the vehicle itself, then a person might be able to sue for “product liability” against the car maker.
If the auto accident was the result of poor roadway construction or maintenance, then liability might be the responsibility of the agency responsible for maintaining the road. There are times when government agencies can be found at fault and negligent. Examples of roadway conditions that can end in vicarious liability are things like bridges that collapse, potholes, or even overpasses that are poorly constructed or maintained.
Before you lend your car to anyone or hire someone to drive for your company, make sure to know their driving history and to ensure that they are someone you can trust. Being involved in an accident can be complicated, but being responsible for someone else’s accident is even worse. It is a good idea to consult with a St. Louis car accident lawyer if you are found negligent through vicarious liability or negligent entrustment.
St. Louis Car Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love have been involved in a car accident, you no doubt have questions and concerns. Call us today at (314) 361-4242 to schedule your free initial consultation. You will speak with an experienced car injury attorney, and you will not pay any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you.