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Car accidents and vicarious liability

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2016 | car accidents |

Though a car accident in Minnesota may have been the fault of a negligent driver, other people besides the motorist could be liable for the accident. The theory of ‘vicarious liability” is a legal concept that allows injured car accident victims to sue liable parties who were not present when an accident occurred.

Many states have laws that permit car accident victims to sue both the driver and the owner of a vehicle for negligence. The owner of a vehicle that was involved in a crash may be found responsible under the theory of negligent entrustment. If the vehicle owner allowed a bad driver to borrow their car before the bad driver caused an accident, the vehicle owner could be liable for the car accident victim’s injuries. Parents who allow their teenage children to borrow their cars are liable for accidents the teens cause in states that have adopted the Family Car Doctrine.

Under the theory of vicarious liability, employers may also face personal injury lawsuits for accidents that were caused by their employees. If a company hires a driver to operate a company vehicle such as a delivery truck or a tour bus, the company is liable for accidents that the driver causes while operating that vehicle.

When multi-vehicle car accidents occur, injured victims are not always aware of the identities of the at-fault driver and other liable parties. A lawyer may be able to help a car accident victim to determine who was at fault for their accident and find out whether that person caused the accident during the course of employment. A personal injury claim may then be filed against the at-fault driver as well as the vehicle owner and the driver’s employer.


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