We know there are certain things we cannot legally do with our automobiles. We cannot let a person drive without a driver’s license or a suspended driver’s license. We know we cannot let someone ride in our vehicles with illegal items, such as drugs or weapons. Beyond that, we sometimes lack knowledge concerning liability for damaged property, injury, or death when we allow someone else to use our vehicle.
Though laws vary from state to state, let’s go through some situations that are common in most places.
Employee Driving a Company Car
If an employee is driving a car owned by the company they work for, and they are doing so in execution of their job duties, and they cause an accident, the company is liable. It doesn’t matter that they may have been careless, reckless, or distracted. He or she could be 100% at fault, but their company is still liable. If an employee driving a company car runs a stop sign and hits another vehicle causing damage, injury, or death; it is still the responsibility of the company to pay the damages. If the other driver sues, the charges will be brought against the company rather than the employee.
However, if this employee was using the company car and was not performing their job duties during the time of the accident, it is the driver and not the company that assumes liability. For example, if the employee took the company car on a weekend vacation to Las Vegas, and they are involved in an accident, the employee is liable for the accident, and the restitution rests on their shoulders.
Parent of a Minor Child With a License
In the state of California, a parent or legal guardian must sign the application for a minor to receive their driver’s license. The adult who signs the application is accepting responsibility for any negligent driving by the minor until they turn 18. Further, if the parent or legal guardian gives permission (or even implies permission) for a minor to drive their vehicle, the adult is liable whether the minor is a licensed driver or not.
If you allow an incompetent driver to drive your automobile and they are in an accident, you are liable. This is sometimes a difficult case, and you may need the help of a car accident attorney if you find yourself in this situation. Yet, there are cases where incompetence is evident.
- A driver that is intoxicated
- A driver who is inexperienced (such as a teen with a learner’s permit)
- A driver who is sick or still recovering from illness which affects their driving abilities
- Asenior citizen that shows signs of slow reflexes, confusion, or memory problems
- A driver that you know has previously proven to be reckless
As a responsible adult, you are required to take every precaution to ensure that your vehicle is always being operated by a driver who can drive it safely. If you fail to do so, you can be held responsible for the consequences of that decision.
If you have been injured in a crash, contact one of the top car accident attorneys in Fresno today.