When is a business liable for the costs of a serious car wreck?

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Car Accidents

Most motor vehicle collisions involve people operating their own vehicles for personal purposes. Typically, the driver at fault for the crash is liable for any damage the collision generates. Their insurance policy can help pay for some expenses, and they could be at risk of a lawsuit if insurance falls short of someone’s costs.

The average person may not have enough resources to fully reimburse someone else for the cost of a crash. However, businesses frequently have large insurance policies and more valuable assets than individuals do. There are some scenarios in which a business could be liable for a recent crash.

When could someone injured in a collision hold an organization responsible instead of, or in addition to, another driver?

When the driver at fault was working

Liability rules make employers accountable for the misconduct and negligence of employees while they are on the clock. It is possible to hold an employer responsible through claims of vicarious liability for collisions caused by their employees. Whether the worker was in a fleet vehicle or driving their own vehicle for business purposes, their employer may have to help compensate those affected by any collision that occurs.

When the crash resulted from vehicle issues

There are several scenarios in which vehicle problems could make a business liable for the cost of a crash. If the issue occurred because of a defective vehicle component, then either the vehicle manufacturer or the company that produced the defective component might be liable for the car crash. If the vehicle owner had recently taken their vehicle to a repair shop for maintenance and the mechanic made a mistake that caused the crash, that business could potentially be responsible for the collision.

There are also some scenarios in which businesses that serve alcohol could have a degree of liability for drunk driving crashes. Dram shop laws make licensed businesses liable if workers violate alcohol service rules and a customer then leaves, only to cause a crash.

Those who talk at length about the circumstances that contributed to a motor vehicle collision with a skilled legal team can potentially find alternate options for pursuing compensation, including lawsuits against businesses. Making sense of liability and fault can help people to potentially defray the expenses generated by serious motor vehicle collisions.