Recovering Damages from Someone Other than the At-Fault Driver
In the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, when you take the necessary steps to pursue compensation for your losses, you’ll most likely look first to the at-fault driver, seeking to establish a breach of the duty to use reasonable care. There may, however, be other parties with potential responsibility for your injuries. That can make a huge difference, especially if the person driving the other vehicle was uninsured or only had coverage for damage to his or her vehicle. In many instances, there are “third parties” who may have potential liability for your losses:
- An employer — If the person who hit you was working at the time and was driving “in the course of” his/her employment, you may have a claim against the employer, under a legal theory known as “respondeat superior.”
- The person who owned the car — In some situations, if you were hit by someone borrowing a car, you may have a claim against the owner of the vehicle. That’s customarily under a theory known as “vicarious” liability, and usually requires that the owner knew or should have known that the driver lacked experience or otherwise posed an unreasonable risk when driving a car.
- The person or establishment that served the alcohol, if the accident involved a drunk driver — Under dram shop and social host liability laws, a person or establishment serving alcohol to a person who later causes an accident may have liability. Typically, there’s a requirement that the person served was either visibly intoxicated or served a quantity of alcohol that would reasonably cause intoxication.
- A municipality or other agency, if the accident is caused by roadway defects — The agency responsible for maintaining the roadway may have some responsibility if there’s loose gravel, potholes or other road hazards that contribute to the cause of the accident.
- Your insurance company — If you have an “uninsured/underinsured” motorists rider on your policy, you may be able to recover from your own insurer, should the other driver lack adequate insurance.
Contact the Proven Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at the Rafi Law Group
At our office, every new client is entitled to a free initial consultation. To arrange a meeting, contact us online or call the Rafi Law Group at 214-224-0064. Our phones are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Home and hospital visits can be set up by request.