Texas is a fault accident state, which means people are responsible for the car accidents they cause. With the typical car accident, the insurance company conducts an investigation, determines which driver is at-fault, then the at-fault driver is held liable for the accident.
However, there are certain scenarios where the person driving isn’t held accountable for their negligence. Instead, another person or entity is held accountable under the law. In fact, the law can assign fault to someone who wasn’t even at the accident scene. While this can sound counterintuitive, there are actually several situations where this can occur.
When Can Someone Else Be Liable?
For one, employers are responsible for the wrongful acts of their employees, and this includes negligent driving on behalf of an employee who is performing their work-related duties. For example, if an employee of a flower shop causes an accident while delivering a bouquet of flowers, the driver’s employer would be on the hook for damages.
Second, you’re liable when you give permission to a friend or relative to drive your car. If they cause a collision while driving your vehicle, you will be the first person the plaintiff (injured party) goes after to collect damages. However, they would actually go after your auto insurance policy. You would also be on the hook for any deductible, and you would have to bear the expense of any subsequent rate hikes for the crash.
Third, if your minor children (under the age of 18) are driving your vehicle and they cause a car accident, you are responsible under the law. Even if your car was uninsured at the time, the plaintiff would still go after you for damages, not your child since they are under 18.
NEVER lend your car out to the following types of people:
- An intoxicated driver
- An unlicensed driver
- An underage driver
- An inexperienced driver (of course, this is not easy for parents of teenagers)
- An elderly driver
- A driver who is sick
- A driver who has little sleep
- Someone who is known to be a reckless driver
- Someone who has issues with road rage
- Someone who is under the influence of marijuana or a sedating medication
If you were injured in a car accident and you think you may need to sue someone other than the at-fault driver (or in addition to the person who was driving), you should speak with an experienced attorney from The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC. Contact us today to get started.