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Determining Liability When a Third Party Causes a Car Accident

third party liable for car accident

When a car accident occurs, those involved tend to think about liability in one way: is it my fault or the other driver’s fault? However, many car collisions aren’t that cut-and-dry. There’s a whole list of other parties that may hold some or full liability in a car accident, and when you investigate these options, you may figure out the truth. This makes it easier for everyone involved to get the compensation they are due.

Wondering what your next step is after a car accident? The team at Ron Aslam Law Office can help. Call us at 502-581-1676 to schedule a consultation.

The Role of Liability in a Crash

Why is it so important to establish liability? Liability determines who pays damages. If insurance companies cannot figure out who is liable for a crash, it is very difficult for victims to seek compensation. While this can be a time-consuming process, providing your attorney with all available evidence can speed things along.


In some situations, passengers may be liable for a crash. However, note that these situations are very rare. In general, drivers are expected to maintain control of the car even if their surroundings are loud or distracting. Consider a situation in which a passenger grabs the wheel and yanks it, causing the driver to crash into another car. In this case, the passenger would likely be liable.

Vehicle Owners

If the vehicle owner is not the person who was driving the car, they could be liable. This largely depends on whether or not they gave the person permission to drive their car and if they knew the person was an unsafe driver. If a vehicle owner intentionally and knowingly lends their vehicle to an unsafe or unlicensed driver, they may be held liable for any damage caused by that driver.

Vehicle Manufacturers or Repair Centers

When a vehicle component malfunctions and leads to a crash, the creator of that component or the manufacturer of the car itself could be held liable. This is also the case if a faulty repair was done. If the driver had taken their vehicle to a repair shop, only to be told that their car was safe and drivable, the repair shop may be liable for subsequent accidents—but only if it’s determined that they should have been able to detect the vehicle issue.


Find out if the person driving the other car was working at the time of the accident. If they were driving as part of their regular work duties, their employer may actually be liable for the accident. This would allow you to seek compensation from their company’s commercial auto policy, rather than from the driver’s personal auto insurance.

Establishments That Serve Alcohol

While this largely depends on local laws and statutes, most parts of the country have some sort of law that holds alcohol-serving establishments responsible for overserving customers. If a customer gets drunk at a bar and then gets in their car and causes an accident, the owner of the bar could be held liable for the damage caused by the drunk driver.

As you can see, figuring out liability in an auto accident case can be fairly complicated. In some cases, third parties may not be obviously involved until you do some investigative work. That’s why it’s so important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney after a car crash.

Your attorney will be able to investigate the crash, analyze the available evidence, and figure out who is liable. With that information, they can build a case for you and fight for the compensation you deserve. Depending on the details of your case, that might mean seeking compensation from multiple parties or going after one insurance company. Choose an attorney who is aggressive enough to hold the other party accountable.

Discuss Your Case with Ron Aslam Law Office A car accident can be traumatizing and life-changing, but with a strong legal team behind you, you don’t have to go through it alone. The team at Ron Aslam Law Office works hard to fight for clients’ compensation. To discuss your claim in greater detail and make a plan by giving us a call at 502-581-1676 or contacting our tea