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Can You Be Held Liable for Another Person’s Driving?

The personal injury attorneys at Alperstein & Diener explain the reasons for which a person may be held legally responsible for a car accident even if he or she wasn’t driving or in the vehicle at the time of the accident.

In many car accident cases, one the most contentious issues that surfaces after the accident occurs is the determination of fault. Generally, minor accidents ensue because a driver is negligent, meaning he or she did not use reasonable care while driving, thereby making it easier to establish who was at fault. However, in certain situations, the law can assign liability to someone who was not driving or even in the car at the time of the accident. The scenarios explained below are examples of when you may be held responsible for another’s driving.

Employers are held responsible for wrongful acts that are committed by an employee while that employee is performing job duties in a vehicle that is registered in the company’s name. For example, if your employee runs a red light in a company car during work hours that results in a collision, you as an employer could be held responsible for this negligence even though you were not directly involved in the misconduct.

Also, in some states, car owners are legally responsible for negligent driving by anyone using the owner’s car with the owner’s permission. Always keep in mind that once you allow someone else to use your vehicle, you may bear liability for any damages or injuries caused by your vehicle.

Parents with children of driving age can also be held responsible if their child partakes in negligent driving. Specifically, if a parent lends the family car to a minor, knowing that the child is inexperienced, the parent assumes responsibility. It is important to understand that in a majority of cases involving negligence actions from a young driver, parents or legal guardians are held liable.

Taking the time now to familiarize yourself with these situations can help you prevent becoming liable for another person’s negligent driving. Do not allow another person’s irresponsibility to become your problem.

For more information about car accident negligence and liability or your personal legal situation, contact the personal injury attorneys at Alperstein & Diener.