Third-Party Liability in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Can Someone Other Than a Driver Be Responsible for Your Injuries?

Third-Party Liability in Motor Vehicle AccidentsWhen you’ve been hurt in a motor vehicle accident through no fault of your own, the first response is to look to the at-fault driver for compensation for your losses. But are you limited to pursuing damages from the negligent motorist and their insurance company? Not necessarily. In a number of situations, you might have a legitimate claim against a third party.

If the driver of the other vehicle was working at the time of the crash, you may have a legal claim against their employer, provided the accident took place “during the course of employment.” If the other driver was on a personal errand—out to lunch or on their commute—you generally won’t have a claim. If the travel was in any way work-connected, you probably will.

Under the legal theory of vicarious liability, the owner of a car may be responsible for injuries caused by someone driving the car with the owner’s permission. This principle often applies to minors driving a parent’s car. However, the owner of the car either must know or have reason to know that the person who caused the accident either was an unskilled driver or had a propensityto drive carelessly.

The manufacturer of a motor vehicle, or one of its component parts, may be liable for a motor vehicle accident, if it was negligent in the design, manufacture, or marketing of the vehicle or part. In addition, a garage or mechanic may be responsible if you can show they negligently repaired the vehicle and the negligence caused or contributed to the crash.

Under dram shop and social host liability principles, a person or establishment serving alcohol to a person who subsequently causes a motor vehicle accident may have legal responsibility for injuries incurred.

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For a private consultation with an experienced and proven New Jersey personal injury lawyer, call us at 973-315-9080 or contact us online. Appointments are available evenings and weekends, if necessary. Our offices are conveniently located in Springfield, Newark, and Bedminster, and we’ll travel to your home or the hospital for a consultation. We welcome all major credit cards. ¡Nosotros hablamos español!

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