Identifying liability is a crucial step in all personal-injury cases. This, however, is not always straightforward. For example, the liable party in a car accident is not always the driver.
Several scenarios exist in which another person – possibly someone who was not even at the scene – is liable for damages, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If you were injured due to another driver’s reckless or negligent behavior, then an injury lawyer can help you identify the responsible party and file a civil lawsuit.
If you would like to speak with an accident attorney in Nebraska about a recent collision, then contact Rensch & Rensch Law. An Omaha injury lawyer can gather evidence, structure your claim and handle settlement negotiations. Call 1-800-471-4100 to schedule a consultation.
In the meantime, read on to learn four scenarios in which you may responsible for the actions of another driver:
- Giving Keys to Employees
Employers are often responsible for the actions of their employees behind the wheel. If you give an employee permission to drive your vehicle for work-related duties, then you may be named in a lawsuit if he or she drives negligently and causes an accident.
- Permitting Others to Use Your Car
As with the employer-employee relationship, the law may hold you responsible for the negligence of another person who drives your vehicle – even if they are not on your payroll. You do not need to have any relationship with this person other than allowing him or her to drive your car.
- Allowing Children behind the Wheel
The value of teaching kids how to drive is indisputable, but for your own safety, it may be wiser to give this responsibility to a registered driving school. You are liable for any accident that your child causes, regardless of whether you were there or not. There are two theories that explain parental liability:
Parents take responsibility for the actions of any children they allow behind the wheel. Children are inexperienced behind the wheel, so trusting them to drive is a negligent action. If the child causes an accident, then injured victims may be able to claim damages from the child’s parents.
Family Purpose Doctrine
If you purchase a vehicle for the entire family to use, then you may be responsible for any negligence of family members using that car, as the Nebraska Legislature explains.
- Authorizing Incompetent or Unfit Drivers to Use Your Car
Similar to negligent entrustment involving inexperienced children, the law can hold you accountable for the negligent actions of unfit drivers. Incompetent drivers should not operate vehicles because they are at a higher risk of causing a collision. You may have to pay damages if you give your keys to someone who plans to drink and drive, is underage or unlicensed, or is elderly or sick.
Recovering damages after a car crash is rarely a straightforward process. Even if negligence seems obvious, liability may be difficult to prove.
You should not take on the legal system alone. If you were injured due to another driver’s negligence, then contact Rensch & Rensch Law. An accident attorney from our firm can help you avoid mistakes that could compromise your claim. Call 1-800-471-4100 to schedule a consultation.