Third-Party Liability In Car Accidents

Can A Third-Party Be Held Liable In A Car Accident?

While most car accidents are caused by at least one driver involved in the collision, there are several instances in which another party or entity may be held responsible for damages. Mississippi observes a “pure comparative negligence” doctrine when determining accident fault, so it’s crucial to understand who all can be held liable in a crash.

Under this doctrine, the compensation awarded may be reduced by the percentage of fault you contributed. This is why knowing how third parties can affect your case is vital for making your claim. Here are some of the ways in which a third party may be held responsible.

Vehicle Manufacturers

Vehicle manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products will not harm others—this is why companies may be required to issue recalls, and lemon laws exist. When defective parts cause handling issues, fire hazards, or transmission/engine failures that contribute to an accident, the company may be held liable.

Negligent Entrustments

There are many instances in which the vehicle owner can be held liable for a crash even if they aren’t driving it at the time of the incident. This is known as “negligent entrustment” and often occurs in cases involving a teenager or employee.

Under this law, should a vehicle owner entrust their car to a motorist who is knowingly negligent/reckless, unlicensed, or intoxicated, the owner could be held responsible for any damages that the individual causes.

Third-Party: Social Host & Dram Shop Laws

In mid-2011, Mississippi passed laws that affect liability in DUI cases known as “social host” and “dram shop” laws. Under the “social host” laws, an adult who knowingly provides alcohol to someone underage or allows them to drink on their property may face punitive damages along with accident liability.

Additionally, alcohol vendors (bars, restaurants, etc.) that unlawfully sell alcohol to underage individuals or someone who is visually intoxicated may be held liable for any damages they go on to cause.

Our Northern Mississippi Attorneys Can Help How A Third-Party Accountable

You deserve to seek justice against negligent parties that contribute to your injuries. At Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman PLLC, we are dedicated to helping you recover the compensation you deserve, even if that means going up against big companies.

The Lawyers That Listen are here to help you in your time of need. Schedule a free consultation with a member of our team by calling (662) 222-0597.

About the Author
Jefferson D. Gilder is a Partner at Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman and was admitted to the Mississippi and Tennessee Bars in 1990. Mr. Gilder is admitted to practice in all courts in Mississippi and Tennessee including Federal Court, the Fifth and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Gilder's areas of practice include personal injury, criminal, medical malpractice, civil rights, and product liability. Mr. Gilder spent his first ten years as an attorney practicing with his father, Robert G. Gilder, at Gilder Law Firm in Southaven, Mississippi before forming Gilder, Howell & Assoc., P.A. with Jamie W. Howell, Jr. in June of 2000. This firm although as another legal entity has now combined their resources and experience with Chatham – Pittman, to form Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman. If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Jefferson through our contact page.