Usually, the individuals driving vehicles involved in car accidents are the owners of those vehicles. However, this is not always the case in all auto accidents. There are many incidents where the negligent parties do not own the car that caused an accident. If that happens, who is held liable for the damages that occur? Is it the owner of the car or the person driving a vehicle at the time of the accident? These types of cases can be very complex and you should retain the services of an experienced car accident attorney.
This depends on several considerations. Generally, it may seem the driver is liable for their actions while behind the wheel. Note that when you give your car keys to someone, they are responsible as the driver. Your auto insurance policy covers them unless there’s an exclusion. The same principle is applied to businesses.
If an employee drives a company’s car and causes an accident, the business’s insurance policy pays for the damages. In the event of underinsurance, you can file a claim against the driver’s insurance firm. Have you been injured in a car crash caused by someone who does not own the vehicle that crashed? If yes, you need to speak with an attorney today so that your rights are protected and they can help you maximize your compensation.
Can the Car Owner Be Liable for Your Injuries?
According to the law of negligent entrustment in Texas, a person can be held liable for the damages of another if they negligently permitted another person to use their car. In some cases, the car owner may not be present during an accident, but they may still pay for the damages caused to third parties.
Some of the situations that are regarded as negligent entrustment are giving your car keys to individuals under the influence of alcohol and drugs, people prohibited from driving, and/or unlicensed minors. The negligent entrustment law can also be applied if a car owner is aware that a person is incompetent or has a record of being a reckless driver.
Note that there is no legal requirement for car owners to perform background checks when lending their vehicle to another person. Generally, a valid driving license is presumed as proof that a person is qualified to drive. However, there may be other considerations when giving the keys to another driver.
When you buy a car, you have a legal obligation to ensure it’s well-maintained. Failure to do so may result in negligent maintenance liability. If the authorities determine that your vehicle was not in a safe standard of operation during an accident, you may be held liable for damages even if you were not the driver.
For example, if the brakes were faulty, and the owner failed to replace them before lending their vehicle to another person, the owner could be required to pay for the resulting losses. If a business car causes an accident, the resulting liabilities are known as vicarious liabilities.
The Family Purpose Doctrine in Texas
If a car owner allows a family member to drive, they may be required to pay for the damages that may occur during an accident. In Texas, the legal provision also applies to parents and their children. When it comes to a lawsuit, the jury considers factors such as who bought the car, who had the right to give consent for using it, and the driver’s intent during an accident.
How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help?
Many people don’t realize how much work a legal representative does when working on a lawsuit. Other than representing you during court proceedings, they can also help in many other ways. They conduct investigations about an accident. For example, they can review evidence, witness statements, and contact outside specialists to help in a case. Another benefit of hiring a car accident attorney is that they will help you to determine the full extent of your damages. Usually, many people only think about the immediate costs. They can assist in getting proper medical treatment. They can also assist in helping you obtain compensation for your injuries and property damage.
If you would like to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer, please call our law offices today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.
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