What is Vicarious Liability?
In Florida, the owner of an automobile is vicariously liable for injury caused by the negligence of the person driving the automobile with the knowledge and permission of the owner. Vicarious liability in car accidents is a legal term that means one person or entity is held responsible for damages caused by another person or entity. A vicariously liable party is responsible to the injured party to the same extent as the primarily negligent party.
Use caution when lending out your car
For example, an owner lets a friend borrow a pick-up truck to move to a new home. While driving the pick-up truck, the friend/driver negligently causes an accident and injures the driver of another vehicle. Not only is the friend/driver liable and subject to being sued for his negligence for causing the accident, but the owner of the pick-up truck is vicariously liable for the negligence of his friend, and is also subject to being sued, to the same extent as the friend/driver.
How does the legal theory of vicarious liability help my case?
Vicarious liability in car accidents finds other sources of recovery for your damages. For example, take the case of a teen driver who is not insured nor has assets to pay a judgment. Section 322.09, Florida Statutes, requires that when a minor (under the age of 18 years old) applies for a Florida driver’s license, an adult parent or guardian must sign the application. By signing the driver’s license application, the adult can be held vicariously liable for the negligent or willful misconduct of that minor. For example, if I have a client injured in a >motor vehicle accident by the negligence of a teen driver, the parent/guardian who signed the teen’s license application is vicariously liable for my client’s injuries, and we can look to the auto insurance coverage of that parent/guardian.
Have you been told that the driver that caused your accident does not have insurance?
We will investigate your accident and find out if vicarious liability may find other insurance to cover your injuries. Call injury attorney Mike Hancock at 813-915-1110 for your no obligation telephone conversation about your case. You can also e-mail us. No recovery, no fee.