Car accidents are often traumatizing events that cause long-lasting physical and emotional damages. For West Virginia victims, recovering compensation from negligent drivers is often key to their recoveries, but are these the only responsible parties? In some situations, a person who was not even in the vehicle at the time of a car accident can still be held responsible.

It is not necessarily uncommon for some drivers to lend their vehicles to loved ones and friends. If the person who borrowed the car causes an accident while driving it, that individual is often considered to be the only one at fault. However, by loaning their vehicle, the owner can also be held responsible through vicarious liability. This is possible through negligent entrustment or simply called owner’s liability.

In some situations, employers can also be responsible for accidents that they were not directly involved in. If a worker gets into an accident while carrying out a work duty — including something as seemingly mundane as dropping off paperwork somewhere — then the employer could be considered financially responsible for any damages or injuries caused by the accident. Accidents that occur in company vehicle during off-duty hours or for unauthorized purposes are usually not the responsibility of the employer.

Determining which parties are financially responsible for the negligent actions that led to a specific car accident can be quite difficult. Some insurance companies may even be resistant to the idea of a vehicle owner or employer taking responsibility for an accident that they were not physically present for. However, when dealing with serious injuries, it is often important for victims in West Virginia to explore as many options for compensation as possible.