When an auto accident occurs, the at-fault driver is held liable for the injuries and damages caused to other parties. However, in some car accident cases, an individual was not even driving or present at the accident scene can be held liable. This may sound surprising, but there are a number of situations in which this could occur:
Employers: When a person causes an auto accident while on the job and injures others, he or she as well as his or her employer can be held liable. For example, if a delivery truck injures a pedestrian, the truck driver and his or her employer can be held liable for the pedestrian’s injuries and damages.
Vehicle owners: In California, if you allow, someone else to drive your car, you (or your insurance company) could be held liable for injuries and damages caused through what is known as “vicarious liability.” If you are a vehicle owner, you are responsible for those who drive your vehicle. A claim or lawsuit could be filed against you and the person driving the car. If, for example, your family member was driving your car with your permission and you have insurance, he would be covered under your insurance policy’s bodily injury coverage of any injuries of damages caused to others.
Parents: In California, parents are required to sign a consent form to allow minor children to drive. When they sign that form, they assume liability for any car accidents caused by their teen drivers. This is known as parental liability. When the children turn 18, parents are released from this liability. Parents can also withdraw their consent at any time. When they do that, their child will immediately lose his or her privilege to drive. Also, parents who loan their vehicles to their teen drivers may be held liable through vicarious liability.
Regardless of the cause or nature of an auto accident, injured victims suffer significant damages. When someone is severely injured in a car accident, he or she is burdened with financial hardships as well as emotional and physical issues. If the individual is permanently disabled, he or she may have to face the fact that they can never work again. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, please contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney who has a thorough understanding of the law and can help you secure fair and full compensation for all your losses.