Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
Personal Injury Attorney
Serving The Petaluma California Region

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Car Owners risk Liability in Petaluma Accidents

Personal injury lawyers must specialize in liability law while also having broad general knowledge of law for clients in Petaluma. Our accident attorneys at Sette Law know that liability can apply over a wide spectrum of circumstances but that specific liability principles will apply in most cases. And, that liability can extend beyond the actual driver in the car accident.

Essentially, Petaluma personal injury attorneys are tasked with showing that a defendant bears responsibility for acting – or not acting – in a manner that resulted in harm to the defendant. If this principle is valid, Petaluma injury lawyers can justifiably ask for compensation on behalf of the defendant. Although this legal tenet may sound simple, our personal injury attorneys know that proving liability is often a high bar to reach and requires keen knowledge of the legal process and applicable precedents for our clients in Petaluma.

Personal injury lawyers will seek to establish certain facts within liability and accident law. Fundamental to the argument is a principle known as “The duty to Act.” Accident and injury lawyers seek to show that a plaintiff’s injuries directly resulted from the defendant’s failure to fulfill his or her duty in the Petaluma case. Personal injury attorneys, for example, may demonstrate that a defendant was driving at a very high rate of speed that resulted in a crash causing serious injury to our client in Petaluma. Injury lawyers for the defendant, conversely, will look for evidence the driver was not speeding – or that the plaintiff, in fact, failed to exercise duty of care.

While Petaluma accident attorneys compile evidence of a defendant’s liability, we may also look beyond the individual behind the wheel. For instance, we may discover the defendant was working – driving on behalf of an employer at the time of the accident in Petaluma. An injury lawyer then may choose to pursue ‘vicarious liability’ and include the employer in the lawsuit to recover losses. Often, personal injury lawyers ask a jury to consider shared responsibility for duty of care and to make a determination about the percentage of liability shared by both employer and driver in the Petaluma accident. Our attorneys explain that defendants can’t recover total damages from both parties but that percentages of liability will be determined.

Shared liability, however, is not assured according to our personal injury attorneys. If the driver caused the accident outside of working hours and was driving without permission of the employer, the employer would likely not be held liable for the accident in Petaluma.

Personal injury attorneys say that other individuals may also share liability for drivers who cause accidents in Petaluma. Lawyers explain that parents who allow reckless, inexperienced or unlicensed children to drive their vehicles can be held liable for an accident – just as can vehicle owners who loan cars to friends who subsequently have an accident. Injury attorneys can employ the principle of Negligent Entrustment in such cases.

Petaluma personal injury attorneys advise the car owners to be aware of these potential liability risks when letting others drive their vehicles. There’s a lot to lose!