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Who Can File a Car Accident Lawsuit and against Whom?

by Christopher Hoffmann on Sep. 19, 2014

Accident & Injury Car Accident Accident & Injury  Personal Injury Accident & Injury  Property Damage 

Summary: Car accidents can cause considerable injuries and damage. The victim of a car accident can claim damages from the party at fault. However, in many cases it might not be simple to determine liability.

If necessary a car accident lawsuit may be filed against the following individuals:

The driver: The vehicle’s driver would be primarily responsible for their negligence. The victim may choose to file a lawsuit against them for causing the accident and resultant damages.

The owner of the car:
In most cases, the owner of the vehicle cannot be directly held directly liable for the negligence of the driver, unless specified otherwise by the law. To recover damages from the owner of the car, the victim must prove that the owner negligently entrusted his vehicle to the driver, or that the owner of the vehicle had direct control over the actions of the driver or over the vehicle. Some state laws may hold the owner liable if the driver was driving with his consent. Some state laws also allow a lawsuit to be filed against the vehicle owner who allows a member of the family to drive and whose negligent actions caused the accident.

Can passengers sue the driver of the vehicle they were in?
In most cases, the driver of the car with passengers or guests can be sued for negligent actions that resulted in injury of the passengers or guests. In states with a guest statute in place, the non-paying passengers must prove that the driver was grossly negligent.

Can passengers be sued by an injured party?
Under certain circumstances car accident lawsuits can be filed by and against the passengers and guests under the joint adventure theory.

A simple way to demonstrate joint adventure is a trip by the driver and the guest or passenger for a common purpose. Under the joint adventure theory, the driver’s negligence may be imputed to a guest, passenger or , in other words, a joint adventurer. Therefore, the victim does not need to show independent negligence by the guest or passenger, and the lawsuit may be based on the driver’s negligence. 

Employers: If an accident was caused by a worker acting within his course and scope of employment, the victim may be able to file a lawsuit against the employer of the driver.

Car Accident Attorneys

If you have been involved in a car accident, and have doubts about who should be sued for causing the accident and resultant damages you should consult an experienced attorney in your area who can help you build a strong case and get you the compensation you deserve.

If you have been injured in a St. Louis car accident, call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 to speak with an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney who will give you the one on one assistance you need.


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