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The Concept of Vicarious Liability in New Mexico Car Accidents

Posted in Auto Accidents

When an individual is injured in a car accident, many people are under the impression that only the culpable driver may be sued, but that is not necessarily the case. Owners of vehicles should be aware that they may be a party to a lawsuit even if they were not the ones driving the car. In these situations, the car owner is vicariously liable for the acts of the individual driving their vehicle. Although the term “owner” seems clear, there are situations in which an owner may be the person who is holding themselves out as an owner because they care for or are in possession of the car. Basically, similar to many things in the law, “owner” is not necessarily a straightforward concept.

There are situations in which an owner may be liable when they do not actually cause the accident. Some of these instances include when an employer permits an employee to use a car for work or business purposes, or when an owner knows that the driver to whom they are lending the car is unlicensed, reckless, or incompetent, or finally if the owner knows that the vehicle is malfunctioning or defective but allows someone else to operate it. In the case that the owner lends the car to an unlicensed individual, the plaintiff must be able to establish that the owner knew that the individual was unlicensed, and they gave express permission to use their vehicle. In these cases, the plaintiff will likely be able to bring a lawsuit against the actual car owner.

Woman Allows 14-Year-Old Boy to Drive on Interstate, Resulting in Serious Accident

Early last week, an entire family was injured after being involved in a collision on the highway. According to a local news report, the car was being driven by a 14-year-old boy who was encouraged to practice his driving by his aunt. The teen was operating a Ford Explorer on Interstate 4 when he attempted to change lanes. Unfortunately, another motorist was in the lane he was hoping to occupy, and he over-corrected. He was unable to control the vehicle, and the car ended up spiraling out of control and slamming into a barrier wall.

The teen and six others, including four children, were seriously injured. The children involved in the accident have been discharged from the hospital, but the adults remain in serious condition. Police have questioned some of the adults involved in the accident to determine why the teenager was driving, to which they responded that they were trying to teach him how to drive. Admittedly, they stated that driving on the interstate was a bad idea. State officials have begun an investigation into the accident, and it is likely that additional charges will be pursued against the driver and potentially the adults involved in the accident.

Have You Been Involved in a Car Accident in New Mexico?

If you or a loved one has been injured because of the negligence of another driver in New Mexico, you should contact one of the attorneys at the Fine Law Firm. Car accident cases are not always straightforward, and there could be more than one party at fault. These cases involve many legal complexities, and the best way to ensure that your rights are being appropriately addressed is by utilizing an experienced attorney. The Albuquerque car accident lawyers at the Fine Law Firm have many years of experience handling these sorts of matters. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries and damages you sustained. Contact one of the attorneys at the Fine Law Firm at 800-640-6590 to schedule your free initial consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Court Dismisses Slip-and-Fall Plaintiff’s Case Under Recreational Use Statute, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, April 5, 2017.

State Appeals Court Finds Signed Arbitration Agreement Invalid and Reverses Lower Court’s Order, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 28, 2017.