For most people who are involved in car accidents, when it comes to seeking compensation they are of a one-track mind: Recover what you can from the other driver’s insurance company. While it is true in many cases that this is the only viable option, in many other cases there are multiple parties who can be held liable for your injuries and other losses. This article takes a look at the various parties who may be responsible for causing auto accident injuries.
The Other Driver (or Drivers)
The most obvious place to look for compensation is the driver who caused the accident. From driving drunk, to texting behind the wheel, to failing to maintain control of their vehicle, there are any number of different ways that another driver can be negligent in causing a collision with your vehicle. Oftentimes, multiple negligent drivers contribute to a single accident.
Most liability disputes with other drivers are resolved through insurance settlements. However, in cases involving life-altering injuries or death, a typical auto insurance policy is may not going to provide coverage for all of your medical expenses, lost income and other damages. If an at-fault driver has sufficient personal assets to cover your losses, it may make sense to seek full compensation in court.
The Other Driver’s Employer
If the other driver was on the clock at the time of the accident, his or her employer may be liable for your injuries as well. Under the rule known as “vicarious liability,” employers can be held responsible for the negligent acts of their employees when those acts are undertaken in the course of employment. Trucking companies, restaurants with delivery services, and businesses with traveling salespeople are just a few examples of the types of employers that have been forced to pay for their employees’ negligent driving.
The Motor Company
In late 2014, GM announced a recall of over 39 million vehicles due to a safety issue with ignition switches. The manufacturer is currently facing thousands of claims – including at least 51 involving deaths – due to its failure to timely address the issue.
While this example is particularly egregious, it is just one in a long line of instances of manufacturers putting unsafe vehicles on the roads. If a defect in your vehicle causes an accident, the manufacturer can – and should – be held financially responsible.
The Part Manufacturer or Repair Shop
Similarly, manufacturers of individual parts – brakes, transmissions, tires, and so on – owe a duty to ensure that their products are safe. If your brakes fail or a tire blows and this leads you to have a car accident, your lawyer may be able to help you pursue a claim against the manufacturer. If the brakes were fine but the repair shop installed them incorrectly, the repair shop may be liable as well.
The City of Houston and other government entities across the state are responsible for maintaining the safety of our public roadways. If an issue with the road itself – such as a fault, pot hole or inadequate lighting – causes your collision, you may be able to file a claim against the government.
To Learn More, Call a Houston Car Accident Lawyer at Morrow & Sheppard L.L.P. Today
Morrow & Sheppard L.L.P. provides experienced representation for victims of car accidents in the greater Houston area. To schedule a time to speak with one of our lawyers, please contact us today.