Who is liable for injuries suffered in a car accident?

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Who is liable for injuries suffered in a car accident?

A 17 year old driver was cited for failure to yield. They hit a pedestrian and the pedestrian suffered injuries for more than the insurance coverage. The 17 year old is not the policy holder or owner. A different person owns the vehicle and a third person is the policy holder. Who can all be liable and sued?

Asked on October 12, 2012 under Accident Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, accident liability is generally determined by who was driving carelessly and/or violating traffic laws.  There is a doctrine known as "vicarious liabaility" and also a "family purpose doctrine" in the state of Georgia.  Vicarious liability means that the owner of a vehicle can be held liable for the injuries of the driver of their vehicle under most circumstances. The family purpose doctrine is a form of vicarious liability making the owner of an at-fault vehicle liable for injury or death arising from a crash caused by the negligent driving of a family member who lived in the owner’s immediate household at the time of the car or truck accident. More information is needed here as to the realtionships of the parties but you should speak with an attorney there as soon as you can.  All parties should be sued by the injured pedestrian.  The coverage issue can be sort out after.  Good luck.


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