Car Accident Liability- Who is Responsible?


There are many types of car accident liability such as public liability, owner’s liability and vicarious liability. Considering fault when deciding liability varies in different states in United States.

Some states consider every driver is accountable for his own losses. However this may not be relevant if severe personal injury or damage to property is involved. In the incident of a car accident the liability is split into two factors. One is called the “actual damages” which are based on the real value or the other person’s car, belongings, medical expenses and loss of wages if any. The second is “moral damages” which are approximately comparable to United States conception of pain and suffering which may be about one third of the total damages in most of the states. Some states have lately approved new standards, which permits judges to decide damages based on the circumstantial facts of the case and this eliminates legal limits of moral damages. According to the requirement of the Financial Responsibility law liability coverage must be maintained in the case of a car accident liability for public. The coverage limits are fixed according to each bodily injured person, total of all bodily injured people in an accident, and for property damages. A motorist has an option to reject this afterwards in writing. Car accident public liability is normally decided in agreement with the laws of the state in which the accident took place.

When a car owner allows an alternative person to drive his car, majority of the authorities treat the car owner as sharing liability for an accident for which the borrower is responsible. In such a car accident liability the car owner’s part of liability may be condition of consequence on law or careless handing over. Looking at a public’s view point owner liability helps guarantee that there will be insurance coverage for the accident, since all car owners will necessarily be insured. On the other hand the borrower is unlikely to be insured. Owner liability is that the owner gives permission to use the car or deliberately agree to use the car. In the occurrence of an accident a member of the owner’s family may be assumed as driving with owner’s permission. This again depends on the law of the state in which the car is running. Even though it will not be owner’s liability if the car is used without his permission, owner will be liable when the car is stolen due to owner’s negligence to leave the ignition key in the car and later is involved in an accident.

When a person is driving a company’s car as an employee of the company when on duty is involved in an accident, liability is not only on the negligent driver but also on the employer. It is the employer’s duty to check the possible employee’s driving records and ensure that the person has a valid driving license with necessary endorsements.

Car accident liability in the case of a rental or leased car is that individuals own insurance policy will guard them when involved in an accident. They need not buy additional insurance coverage from Automobile Rental and Leasing Company.


Source by Lindsay Nolan