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Determining liability in a car crash

There are situations when others could be responsible for a Georgia car accident even if they were not behind the wheel when it happened. For instance, if parents allow their teenager to drive a family car, thy may be responsible for what the child does. This is referred to as the family car doctrine, and it may apply even if the teen isn't named as an additional driver on the insurance policy.

Negligent entrustment may apply if an individual allows a poor driver who is not a family member to use his or her vehicle. If an accident occurs, both the driver who actually caused the crash and the owner of the vehicle will be held responsible for damages. Employers who allow workers to operate a company vehicle are generally responsible for accidents occurring during the course of employment under the theory of respondeat superior, or vicarious liability. However, an employer may not be liable if an individual used a company car for personal or otherwise unauthorized purposes.

If a car is defective or the road a car was driving on was in disrepair, whoever was responsible for manufacturing the car or repairing the roadway may be held liable for damages after an accident. Defective road laws may also apply to bridges and overpasses that were in disrepair or improperly repaired.

Those who are hurt by distracted drivers or drivers who are negligent in any way may be compensated for their injuries. Injured victims may also take action against that person's employer or the owner of the vehicle if applicable. Compensation may be available for medical bills, lost wages and other damages related to their injuries. An attorney may be able to establish that negligence caused the crash, which would make it easier to win a jury award or a settlement outside of court.

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