The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

Car Accidents: Are You Liable Even When You're Not Driving?

Many Philadelphia locals understand that they can generally be held responsible for car accidents when they are the ones found behind the wheel. But what some people may not realize is that in many states, individuals may also be held liable for a crash caused by someone else driving their car with their consent, whether implied or direct.

According to FindLaw, most states allow both the owner and the driver of an automobile to be named in a lawsuit under the legal theory of “vicarious liability.” FindLaw’s LawBrain writes that this theory imposes liability for an injury to a person who may have not caused the injury, but actually has a particular legal relationship to the negligent person.

Employer and employee relationships are common in cases involving vicarious liability, but other legal relationships recognized under this theory include that of a driver and an owner of a car, parent and child, and husband and wife.

Even when there are no "owner's liability" statutes to go by, the theory of "negligently entrusting" one's vehicle to another may also play a role in vicarious liability.

Say for instance that Joe, who works for his employer Crazy Pizza, was on his way to deliver pizza to a customer when he sped through a red light and crashed into Ann's car. A personal injury attorney may say Ann could file an injury claim against both Joe and Crazy Pizza for the injuries she sustained as a result of Joe's negligent driving.

To learn more about your legal options in a case involving vicarious liability, meet with a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer who can explain your rights and determine the appropriate legal remedies available in your case.

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