Understanding Vicarious Liability
Many car owners consider this question: “Can I be liable for someone else driving my car?” The answer is yes, and this is because of the vicarious liability principle (otherwise known as imputed negligence). Even if an owner is not present when someone gets in an accident using their vehicle, the owner can be held liable.
If you have been injured by a driver behind the wheel of a car they don’t own, keep reading to learn about options that may be available to you.
Vicarious liability suits happen more than you may think. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver (whether the driver is the owner of the car or not), then you’ll benefit from reading the basics of these cases described below. And when you need a highly skilled and experienced lawyer to advocate for you in court, our dedicated attorneys can help.
Employers Must Be Familiar With Vicarious Liability
In Minnesota, employers are held liable for negligent acts that are committed by their employees, and this includes driving if it’s part of an employee’s job duties. The vicarious liability principle holds that the basic employer-employee relationship makes both parties liable for the actions of the other. If you are injured, for example, by a truck driven by a company’s employee, you may be able to receive damages from the company because of vicarious liability.
Many States Hold Individuals to the Same Standards
Minnesota isn’t the only state that holds absent individuals liable for car accident damages under the vicarious liability principle. Employers aren’t the only ones who can be subjected to vicarious liability suits. In fact, if a vehicle owner simply gives someone the right to drive their car, then they can be held liable for their actions (or inactions). This is something that most drivers don’t think about, but car accident liability is something every car owner should at least know the basics of—before they get behind the wheel or let someone else drive for them.
Even parents can be held liable when teaching children how to drive. If a parent allows a minor to drive without a license, he or she may not only face civil suits, but also criminal charges in the event of an injury caused by the teen driver. If you’ve been injured by a driver – whether they are the vehicle owner or not – you may be entitled to compensation. An attorney at Sandberg Law Firm can help you navigate these legal hurdles.
Car Accident Liability: Parents Letting Their Kids Drive Their Cars
Under the negligent entrustment principle, a parent can be held liable for accident damage if they let their child drive with full knowledge that they were either incompetent, reckless, or inexperienced. The family purpose principle holds something similar: If a family shares a vehicle, the owner of the vehicle is held liable for the actions of all drivers. In short, if a parent allows their children to drive a family vehicle, it’s critical to stress the importance of safe driving.
Get in Touch With Sandberg Law Firm
Have you been injured by a vehicle driven by someone other than its owner? Ensure your rights are thoroughly protected. Get in touch with us now to discuss your situation—the consultation is free! Call (507) 282-3521.