Determining Fault: the Burglar or the Driver?

- David Boehrer

A car accident involving four individuals who were allegedly fleeing from the law in mid-April [2015] has a number of Henderson residents shaking their heads. At approximately 8 p.m. law enforcement responded to a reported robbery on the 1800 block of Plantea Court. With the description of the vehicle in hand, patrol officers were able to track the vehicle allegedly used in the robbery to Flamingo Road.

This is where things became far more dangerous. With law enforcement hot on their tracks, the driver of the vehicle sped off – though almost immediately sped right into a wall. All four occupants of the vehicle were injured as a result.

Each of the four suspects were taken to UMC with injuries that were not life threatening. They were then booked, at the hospital, as suspects of the robbery and shooting.

When the Driver Is Not Always at Fault

There is no question that these four individuals all have bigger problems than claiming damages for injuries they suffered, but it does bring an important misconception to light.

The misconception: that the driver is always at fault.

The vast majority of vehicle accidents are due to the negligence of the person who is operating the vehicle. However, in some situations, one who is not driving the car may find themselves liable – even if they were not even present in the car when the accident occurred.

Some situations include:

  • Allowing a 3rd party to drive your car (authorized or unauthorized)
  • Allowing your children to drive your car (parents may be responsible for their child’s negligent behavior on the road)
  • Having employees drive a business vehicle (employers are held responsible for any wrongful acts their employee may commit when on the road, including negligent driving)
  • Allowing an unfit or incompetent driver to drive your car (this includes an intoxicated driver, one who is unlicensed or underage, one who is ill or one who is inexperienced)

That said, passengers are not at fault in an automobile accident and are usually protected under state laws. In this situation, it is likely that the driver will be found negligent.

When Should a Driver Seek Legal Help?

If you are a passenger injured in a car accident caused by a third party, it is important that you obtain legal representation. We need to be sure that the correct party is determined responsible for your injuries, and that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.

Our team of accomplished attorneys at David Boehrer Law Firm have provided counsel, with positive outcomes, to numerous injured parties in the Henderson area. If you have been injured in a car accident or are concerned about your rights, we invite you to call us today at (702) 750-0750.