Auto Accidents: How Negligent Entrustment and Vicarious Liability Work

by 48 Minutes | Monday, Oct 30, 2017 | 520 views

Man taking photos of his crashed carMost lawsuits that stem from automobile accidents are typically due to the actions of negligent drivers or their insurance providers. However, did you know that there are cases wherein a party that wasn’t directly involved in the accident could be sued? This is due to the vicarious liability and negligent entrustment principles that states that a vehicle owner could be sued by a party that has been injured in an automobile accident that involved the owner of the vehicle.

Vicarious Liability and Negligent Entrustment

If you own a vehicle that has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you could be slapped with a lawsuit in the event that you allowed another individual to operate your vehicle. For example, you allowed an apparently intoxicated person to drive your car or allowed your teenage son who’s just starting to drive operate your vehicle without adult supervision.

Employers could likewise face lawsuits if your employee got into an accident while driving a company car. Take note however that this specific liability is primarily limited to vehicle accidents that happen while an employee is performing a work-related errand, clarifies a top auto accident attorney in Springfield, IL. This means that if your employee got into an accident while driving a company car but wasn’t doing anything related to his or her work, then you, as the employer can’t be held liable for anything.

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Vehicle manufacturers might also face product liability lawsuits in cases where auto accidents are caused by electronic or mechanical defects found in the vehicle. Also, state and local highway authorities could likewise face litigation if poorly maintained or designed roads resulted in an injury or death. In cases like these, the claimant would need to prove that the defects in the vehicle or poor road conditions caused the resulting accident.

Getting Legal Help

It could be very shocking to learn that you could be held liable for a vehicle accident that your car had caused even when you weren’t physically involved in the accident, but as you know, you definitely could. 

That said, it’s crucial to establish clear liability in cases like these, most especially in cases where significant injury or worse, death was the result. Getting an experienced auto accident attorney on your side is also vital to find out what your options are and if you could be held responsible for the accident.

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