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Can You Be Responsible for a Car Accident If You Weren’t in the Car?

Car Accident If You Weren't in the CarAs a general rule, after a motor vehicle accident, the first thing the parties will do is look at the actions of all the drivers, so that fault can be determined. While the person actually driving the car may have taken the specific actions that caused the crash, there are instances where a third party (someone not even in the car) can be potentially liable for damages suffered by others.

When a Person Is Driving for Work

Under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, there are situations where an employer can be held responsible for the wrongful acts of an employee. If the employee was performing regular duties in the course of employment when the accident occurred, the employer may have liability. If, on the other hand, the employee was engaged in a primarily or wholly personal activity during work hours, the employer may escape liability. For example, if an employer sends an employee to the store, to a restaurant or to meet with a client, an accident that occurs on the way there or back may result in legal responsibility for the employer. However, if the employer sends an employee to meet with a client and the employee diverts his or her path to get lunch, any accident occurring during that diversion will typically not result in liability for the employer.

When You Let Someone Else Drive Your Car

In some states, simply letting someone else drive your car imposes liability on you for any accidents they have. As a general rule, automobile insurance follows the car, not the driver. Your insurance will be required to pay for any damages caused by your car, regardless of who was driving.

Contact Our Office

For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 973-993-8787. We have office locations in Morristown and Newton, but will visit you in your home or the hospital, if necessary.

We take all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You will not incur legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.

Prior results are no guarantee of a specific outcome in your case. Your results may vary based on your particular facts and circumstances.