In a majority of car accidents, the driver whose negligence led to the accident is considered liable. But if you’re the owner of a car or enable someone else to drive, you may be liable for an accident even if you weren’t driving, or even in the car.
Here are a few instances when you could be considered liable for the actions of another driver:
- Your Employee Crashed a Company Car
When an employee is driving a car for the company during company hours, the employer may be held responsible for any negligible driving. A car accident attorney may come after you if, for example, your employee crashes with another vehicle when on a delivery run. Semi truck accidents can often be traced back to the employer as well.
- You Let Someone Else Drive
In some states, you may be held responsible for the actions of anyone that you let behind the wheel of your vehicle, regardless of your relationship to that person. As long as that person has your permission to drive, you may be liable.
- You Let Your Children Drive
Many states will also hold parents liable if their children drive negligently using the family car. A car accident attorney would call this “negligent entrustment,” which is when you let an incompetent or unfit driver behind the wheel of your car. This is especially true if you let minors drive. Other states have laws hold the owners of family cars (usually parents) responsible and laws that hold parents responsible if they sign their child’s license application.
- You Lent Your Car to an Incompetent Driver
You can often be held accountable for the judgement you use when deciding who gets to drive your car. Again, this falls under negligent entrustment in car accident attorney jargon. If a driver is reckless, incompetent or otherwise unfit and you let them use your car anyway, you may be liable. Unfit drivers include drivers who are intoxicated, ill, inexperienced, previously reckless or too young or too old to drive safely.