Can a Car Owner Be Sued for Another Driver's Accident?
Although car accidents are not uncommon in the U.S, some people don't understand many of the things that come with that accident. One of those things is the compensation and lawsuit process after the auto accident. Naturally, car accident victims can sue the person who hits them, but what happens with the car owner?
It's odd for someone to ride a car that is not theirs, but it could happen, and everyone needs to be ready for that situation. Car crash victims can sue the person driving the car, but can they sue the car's owner if they weren't driving? This page has all the answers.
Regardless of what happens, it's difficult to sue a person without the help of a lawyer. Car accident lawyers in St Louis MO know all paperwork needed to sue someone and represent the person being sued, so anyone involved in a car accident should call a law firm.
The problem with that is that hiring a subpar lawyer can make the person hiring them lose the case due to the person not being that skilled. Therefore, victims of a car accident must invest in the best lawyer they can find. The Powell Law Firm is always available for people in St. Louis, MO, so all car accident victims can feel free to call it to get a free consultation of their case.
What Happens After a Car Accident?
It's normal for all people involved in a car accident to feel angry after it, but the first thing to do after an accident is to check if everyone's okay.
Checking for Injuries
No one knows if the other driver or the car's passengers need medical attention, and the first step is to call an ambulance in case someone's injured. If someone checks everyone's okay, both drivers need to give their personal information to themselves. That includes their contact number, license plate, car model, and direction.
The victim of the accident should also go to the closest police station to report the issue to a police officer. Doing that makes the police report evidence for the case, which helps the victim if the case goes to trial.
Calling a Lawyer
Calling a car accident lawyer would be the next step. The best the victim can do is tell the lawyer everything that happened with the most details possible for them to know what they need to do to win the case. If the victim wants to sue the liable driver, they can help the victim file a lawsuit against them.
The lawsuit must include the reasons for the victim to file it, details about the accident, the damage the accident caused to the victim, and the compensation they expect to get for it. After that, the liable party needs to answer whether they want to get to an agreement or deny everything and go to trial.
These cases don't often get to trials since they are too dangerous for both parties. If the victim wins the case, they get a considerable amount of money, but if they don't, they get nothing.
Therefore, it's best for both of them to talk things out and get to an agreement on how much money the victim is going to get. However, if the victim has enough evidence to go through a trial and win it, they can do it with no problem. Nonetheless, those cases take a lot of time and can be tedious at times.
The liable party can't ignore a car accident claim since running away from a car accident is considered a hit and run, which could be a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the situation.
When the trial is over or when both parties get to a settlement, the liable one needs to pay for the car accident lawsuit in a decent range of time. If they don't, the victim can file a complaint against the liable driver.
Can a Car Owner Be Sued for Another Driver's Accident?
The short answer is yes; car crash victims can sue a vehicle owner after a car crash and are encouraged to do so. Many people would think it's something unfair since the car owner didn't do anything, but everything relies on a legal term called negligent entrustment.
Going through a negligent entrustment case makes the car owner liable for the accident since they negligently gave the at-fault driver the car, and that caused the car accident indirectly. This concept also applies when someone leaves dangerous items, such as guns or knives, close to someone that could use them to hurt another person.
What to Do
In these cases, the owner of the vehicle is treated as an entrustor, and the person who drove it is a trustee, so they are equally liable for everything. However, things change a little when dealing with a negligent entrustment case since this term mostly applies when the car owner knew or could have known that the driver was dangerous or could cause damage to another person while driving the car.
If they can prove that, they can win the negligent entrustment case. Nonetheless, it's difficult to prove that someone didn't know something, and it's easier to prove they could have known it, so car accident lawyers win negligent entrustment cases most times.
Negligent entrustment cases are similar to family car doctrine cases. What the family car doctrine states is that the owner of a motor vehicle is liable for anything that a family member does while driving that vehicle. This mostly happens with the car owner's son or nephew driving the vehicle, but could apply to any family member.
How Much Compensation Can Someone Get After a Car Crash?
Everything depends on how much financial and non-financial damage the at-fault driver caused. Scratches or any damage to a car is financial damage, so calculating is the easiest part of the process.
Things get complex when talking about non-financial damage. People also know it as pain and suffering damage, and it's often the most expensive part of car accident lawsuits. Pain and suffering consist of any emotional damage or physical pain the accident could have caused the victim.
Stress and anxiety count as pain and suffering and are thus included in the liability coverage. There are three methods to calculate pain and suffering compensation. The first one is the multiplier method, which multiplies financial damage by a number between one point five and five. Three is often used for it.
Following up, victims have the per diem method, and it gives each day an economic value. The liable party for the auto accident needs to pay for all the days the victim suffered from the accident. Getting to the third method, lawyers use the per diem and multiplier one and get a ballpark figure between the two.
This process can be tricky when suing the at-fault driver and car owner since both hold the same liability but are treated as different lawsuits, so they both have to pay for the victim's compensation. These cases usually end up with an agreement since the liable parties losing the case would end up with the victim receiving tons of money.
Do People Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
Absolutely! Everyone involved in a car accident, including a rear-end or a sideswipe car accident, needs to hire a lawyer as soon as they can for them to represent them on the case. Not doing that means the state needs to assign the victim or the liable party a public attorney, and some of them are not that good.
People think personal injury lawyers are too expensive, and legal fees make them go way over their budget, but they can also include legal fees in the case compensation, so they would get their investment back later.
Handling all that process without the help of an expert can make both the victim and the other driver do things wrong and thus, lose a case they would have won with a decent attorney. There are several law firms in St. Louis, MO, so victims need to take all the time they need to choose one they feel comfortable with.
The Powell Law Firm is one of the best law firms in the city and has years of experience when it comes to liability coverage and personal injury compensation, so it's the victim's best bet when taking a motor vehicle crash accident case.
This law firm offers its clients a free consultation of its cases, so no one needs to pay anything to talk to it. Additionally, the law firm takes workers' compensation, medical malpractice, and nursing home neglect cases.
Experts recommend that victims sue both the driver and vehicle owner after going through a car accident. Not doing so not only is unfair for the victim but also lets the car owner walk away free without any consequences. If the car owner lends the car to someone and that person caused any damage to the victim, they also need to give the victim the compensation they deserve.
The same applies when the car that hits the victim is a company vehicle. Victims can sue the whole company if they want to, and they shouldn't hesitate to do it. On another note, we have a take on whether or not one can sue after a car accident is settled.