As we know, it can be difficult to determine liability following a West Virginia car accident. This becomes even more difficult to do when the person who is liable for an accident is not actually the person who was driving at the time. Though these situations are not as common as others, they still tend to occur, causing serious injuries and fatalities. If you have been injured in an accident and you believe another party is liable for that accident, our West Virginia personal injury attorneys are here for you every step of the way.
Determining fault after a car accident becomes one of the key issues in any personal injury claim, as you do not have a claim unless there is a party that you can bring it against. In some special circumstances, the law assigns fault to those who were not even driving or present at the time of a crash. Today, we want to look at a few of these scenarios.
Negligence When an Employer is Liable for an Employee’s Actions
Employers can sometimes be held liable for the acts of their employees through something that is known as vicarious liability laws. When an employee is working in the interest of their employer, the employer can be held responsible for anything that happens during this time. Here is an example of when this happens: let’s say that an employer has allowed an employee to use the company vehicle during work hours so that they could run work errands. When the employee is out and about, they run the red light and crash into another driver’s vehicle. The employer could become responsible for the injuries that result from this accident, as they entrusted the company vehicle to the employee.
Negligence When a Car Owner Loans Their Car to Another Party
In a wide variety of states, an owner is legally responsible for negligent driving when they allow another person to use their vehicle with permission. This means that, if you live in a state where these laws apply, you will be on the hook for a person’s actions if they are borrowing your vehicle for a certain amount of time.
Negligent Entrustment When a Child Drives a Parent’s Car
Occasionally, a parent will loan the family vehicle to their child, hopeful that they will take care to abide by the rules of the road. What happens if the child is involved in an accident that they caused? If a parent intentionally loans the family vehicle to a child that they know is inexperienced, the parent might be liable for damages caused by the accident through something known as negligent entrustment laws. This is why parents must never loan out a vehicle to a child who they know have acted negligently in the past.
When an Individual Loans Their Vehicle to an Incompetent or Unfit Driver
Of course, the same rules apply if an individual loans their vehicle out to somebody who is incompetent or is unfit to drive. This can apply in situations where you knowingly loan a vehicle out to somebody who is intoxicated, an elderly person who is not fit to drive any longer, or somebody who suffers from any type of illness that can impact their driving skills.
How Our West Virginia Accident Attorneys Can Help
As you can see, there are many scenarios where somebody can be held liable for the actions of another driver. At Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner, our experienced personal injury attorneys understand that it is not easy to face the aftermath of a serious West Virginia car accident. If somebody has acted in a negligent fashion under your watch and you now find yourself in a difficult position facing bills and other aspects on your own, it is imperative to speak with an attorney who has experience in these cases. Please reach out to us at (304) 713-2014 to find out what we can do for you.