The party responsible for the losses generated by a car crash is usually the driver who did something unsafe or illegal right before the collision. Someone who lost control of their vehicle because they drove too fast or who failed to yield because of distraction will typically provide insurance coverage after a crash and could be the subject of a personal injury lawsuit brought by other parties affected by the wreck.
However, there are always circumstances that deviate from people’s expectations, including car crash scenarios. Those who have been hurt or left with an undrivable vehicle after a wreck may discover too late that the person who is at fault does not have enough insurance based on the losses they incurred. A lawsuit may be the only way of recouping expenses, but those with bad insurance may not have adequate personal resources or income to reimburse someone else either.
Occasionally, there could be a business that has some liability for the losses caused by a crash. When might someone hurt in a car wreck be able to bring a claim against a business in addition to or instead of another driver?
1. When an issue with a vehicle causes a crash
Sometimes, there are problems with a vehicle’s design or with one of its components that will make it unsafe to drive. For example, a recent recall by Subaru involves tires that may suddenly lose pressure, which could lead to a loss of control of a vehicle.
When a problem with a vehicle is to blame for the crash, the manufacturer of the vehicle or of the specific defective component may have some responsibility for the outcome of the collision. Defective product claims can connect people with better compensation, as vehicle manufacturers and other companies tend to have substantial liability insurance in place that far exceeds what the average motorist carries on their vehicle.
2. When the driver at fault was on the job
People understand that a company might be responsible for the actions of a delivery driver in a fleet vehicle, for example. However, anyone driving while on the clock, even if they don’t have to deliver for the company and are in their own vehicle, can create liability for the business that employs them.
When someone performing job responsibilities causes a car crash, the company that benefits from their work may have some liability for the property damage and injury losses suffered by the other parties involved in the wreck.
Especially when collisions result in serious personal injury and expenses that go beyond what insurance will cover, those involved in a crash may need to look at creative ways of securing the compensation they’re owed. Filing a third-party lawsuit can sometimes help reimburse those hurt in a car wreck for the expenses they’ve incurred.