Determining who is liable for a car accident, even after you have determined who is at fault for the accident, can be more complicated than you may initially think. Liability is addressed through a variety of things, most importantly by the terms set forth in the auto insurance policy that the at-fault driver is protected by. In accidents where you are in a crash with a commercial driver operating a company truck, an accident where the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, or when you are in an accident with an on-duty Uber or Lyft driver, these questions become even more complicated.
Luckily, car accident law attorneys deal with these questions all the time and have the legal know-how necessary to unravel these complexities so that you have a clear path towards compensation. At the end of the day, the biggest thing that you should worry about as a victim is how you can give yourself the best chance of making a full recovery, which is by staying stress-free and prioritizing your health. When you have a proven and experienced attorney representing your case, you can focus on your own needs with the confidence that they are fighting on your behalf.
Take a look below to get a better idea of liability, but keep in mind that there are infinite combinations of factors that will result in different answers to seemingly-identical situations. Unless you have an intimate and practical understanding of car accident law, then you need a lawyer as soon as possible.
Car Accidents With a Non-Owner
If you get into an accident with someone who is borrowing a friend’s car, driving a rental, or operating a company-owned vehicle, then there are a variety of possible liabilities depending on the legal agreements of each possible situation. Typically, though, a car owner’s insurance policy covers people who are allowed to be driving the car, meaning that the car owner is not liable, but their insurance company is. If the vehicle is stolen or being driven without permission, then this is a more complex situation. Call a lawyer!
If you are in an accident with someone who is operating a company vehicle, then it is highly likely that the company’s insurance policy is liable for the damages. There are a variety of possibilities that would hold the driver and their own insurance company liable, but these are exceptions to what would otherwise be the rule.
Car Accidents with Rideshare Drivers
Getting into an accident with a rideshare driver, like a Lyft driver or Uber driver, can be quite complicated at the outset as you try to understand which insurance company to file a claim with. Since these drivers are independent contractors, there are very specific circumstances that determine whether you file a claim with their personal insurance or if you file a claim with the company’s insurance.
Other Liability Questions
There are many other situations where it is not immediately clear who is liable for the damages that an accident causes, all of which will require specific investigation by an experienced car accident lawyer. If you choose to not work with a professional throughout this process, you can expect that you will be met with resistance from any party who may be liable, since each is equally motivated to avoid financial obligation if at all possible. Save yourself the stress and hire a lawyer—use the time that you have gotten back to take care of yourself and your family so that you can make a successful recovery and get your life back on track as soon as possible.