It is often assumed that when two or more vehicles collide, one of the drivers involved will be to blame and held liable. However, there are laws that can complicate these matters slightly. Under general negligence theories, the act of vicarious liability is recognized. This essentially means that a person could be held responsible for a car accident even if they were not at the scene.
There are many instances in which vicarious liability laws could come under effect. An individual car owner might be held responsible if they allowed another person to drive their car. In addition, a trucking company or a car rental company might be held responsible if they were irresponsible or negligent in some way.
If you have been involved in a vehicle collision in the state of Louisiana, it is important to understand how vicarious liability works so that you can apply it to your situation. The following are some of the most common instances where vicarious liability can come into effect.
Vicarious liability when a car is loaned
If you are the owner of a vehicle and you allowed your friend, acquaintance or family member to borrow your car, you have certain responsibilities. If you, for example, loan your car to a person whom you believe to be intoxicated, or you have a reason to believe that they will be irresponsible, you are likely being negligent. If they become involved in a car accident, you may be charged with negligent entrustment.
Vicarious liability when a person is employed to drive a vehicle
Commercial drivers are employed by companies who have a responsibility to ensure that they are safe drivers. Trucking companies, in particular, are highly regulated and must conduct frequent drug testing. If a commercial driver caused a crash, the company that employed them might be held liable under vicarious liability laws.
In addition to these common instances, manufacturers may also be held liable if a vehicle crashed because of a defect.
If you are unsure about whether vicarious liability laws will apply to your car accident case in the state of Louisiana, it is a good idea to conduct further research.