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Liability Issues in California Car Accidents


Did you know? You may be liable for a car accident and be sued for negligence, even if you weren’t driving or in the car.

In most car accident cases, the key issue is determining which driver is at fault for the accident. Usually, if one driver is negligent — that is, did not use reasonable care or caution while driving — he or she will be at fault, says the Orange County car accident lawyers from Bisnar and Chase.

However, in some situations, the law can assign fault to someone who was not driving or even present in the car at the time of the accident. Although this sounds surprising, there are a number of common situations where this can occur.

When an Employee Drives the Car

The law holds employers responsible for wrongful acts, including negligent driving, when they are committed by an employee while the employee is performing job duties. (This comes under the theory of “vicarious liability,” or “imputed negligence.” When two parties have a certain relationship with one another, the law can hold one party liable for the misconduct of another.)
For example, if you are an employer and your employee runs a red light and hits another car while driving the company car during work hours, you will be responsible for the damages caused by your employee.

When You Let Someone Drive Your Car

In some states, car owners are legally responsible for negligent driving by anyone using the owner’s car with the owner’s permission. These state laws don’t require that the parties have a relationship like that of employer-employee. Instead, in states with such laws, once you give someone permission to drive your car, you’re on the hook for their actions.

There are pitfalls and pratfalls everywhere. You should have excellent attorneys on hand when you need them. You have a doctor and a dentist, a mechanic and an accountant…why not have a great attorney? Call a Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys personal injury lawyer in Orange County to learn more. Call 800.481.8656 or go to

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