Our personal injury attorneys in Miami are very familiar with the challenge of proving negligence in a lawsuit can be complicated, but the doctrine of vicarious liability can ease this process considerably. In this context, vicarious liability refers to situations where the negligence of an individual is attributed to a third-party who was not driving a vehicle involved in the accident, such as an employer or minor’s parent. Many car accidents involve at-fault drivers who lack insurance or assets to pay a judgment or settlement. When situations like this arise, proof of liability of a third-party based on the theory of vicarious liability can mean the difference between being fully compensated for all injuries and needing to pay hospital bills, vehicle repair costs, and other damages out of pocket. Although vicarious liability constitutes a valuable litigation strategy for many Miami car accident victims, the specific facts of a collision can make the task of proving that a third-party should be vicariously liable extremely difficult.
In this blog, our personal injury attorneys review the 1st DCA decision in Depriest v. Greeson that considered the complex issue of the vicarious liability of the estate of a vehicle owner. The daughter of the car owner was operating the car at the time of the collision. She was determined to be at-fault for causing the accident. The plaintiffs, who were involved in an initial head-on collision, were waiting for assistance when the daughter collided with their vehicle. The plaintiffs contended the second impact caused further injury and vehicle damage. A lawsuit was filed against the estate of the owner of the vehicle, who was deceased at the time of the accident. Continue reading →