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Who is at Fault for an Accident, the Driver or Car Owner?

By: Anapol Weiss

Determining an “at-fault” is one of the primary obstacles in a car accident lawsuit. In some situations, a person who was not driving at the time of the incident could be held liable. Below are a few situations in which the owner of the car – including or instead of the driver – may be responsible for property damage and injuries from an auto collision.

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Employer Liability

Employers, for example, are sometimes held legally responsible for damages caused by an employee’s negligent driving while he or she was performing work-related duties.

Car Owners’ Liability

Negligent entrustment refers to a situation in which a driver knowingly lends his or her car to an incompetent or otherwise unfit driver who then negligently causes an accident. This also includes parents who lend their car to a minor child they know is unfit to drive. In some states, car owners are responsible for the actions of anyone they permit to drive their car.

Parents’ Liability for their Children

Beyond situations involving negligent entrustment, parents may be held liable for damages their child causes behind the wheel under several legal theories. Certain states include the family purpose doctrine, which states that the owner of a vehicle intended for general family use is legally responsible for the actions of any family member who uses the car. Further, some states hold the person who signs a minor’s driver’s license application responsible for the minor’s negligent driving.

Contact Anapol Weiss for Assistance

A complex legal situation arises when an auto collision involves property damage and injuries. However, seeking compensation without qualified legal representation can be detrimental to a person’s case. Contact Anapol Weiss to speak with our auto accident attorneys if you or a family member was injured in a crash. We can help.