Can Someone Other than the Driver Be Responsible?
When you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, the first place you typically look to recover for your losses is the at-fault driver. But what if that person is uninsured or underinsured? Are there other avenues that you can pursue, so that you can get full and fair compensation for your losses? There may be.
In any personal injury lawsuit based on negligence, you must show three things:
- That another person failed to act reasonably under the circumstances
- That the failure to behave reasonable caused an accident
- That you suffered actual losses because of the accident
Accordingly, it may be possible to seek and recover damages from persons other than the driver of the other vehicle, provided you can demonstrate a breach of the duty of care and a causal link to your injuries. Here are some of the most common instances where third party liability may be established:
- Respondeat superior—This legal doctrine allows you to seek damages from the employer of a person causing an accident, provided the employee was in the course of employment at the time
- Vicarious liability—Under this principle, the owner of a car may have liability for an accident caused by someone who borrowed the vehicle, or a parent may have liability for an accident caused by a teenage driver
- Dram shop or social host liability—If the other driver was intoxicated, you may have a claim against the individual or establishment that served the alcohol
- Product liability—If the crash was caused by a dangerous or defective automotive design or part, you may be able to bring legal action against the designer, manufacturer, distributor or retailer
- Danger or defective roadway—If there was loose gravel, water/ice on the road, or a pothole that caused the accident, you may be able to sue the municipality responsible for maintaining the road
Contact Our Office
At the Cintron Firm, LLC, we offer more than 14 years of experience to people in New Jersey facing a broad array of legal challenges. Send us an e-mail or call us at 201-791-1333 or (201) 535-0323 to set up an appointment.