Joe Jonas finds himself in a legal battle after his assistant crashed his car. It’s not clear whether Jonas was in the car at the time but reports seem to indicate that the assistant was running an errand for Jonas. The accident happened back in 2016 but the woman who filed the lawsuit just initiated it now.
The unnamed woman sued the former Jonas brother for mental and physical pain as well as lost income earnings. She claims Jonas’ assistant made a left turn at an intersection and struck her vehicle. Jonas’ car involved is a 2012 Audi A6. Apparently, there were no third-party witnesses or a police report.
Wait, can you sue if you’re in a crash but have no witnesses or a police report?
You sure can. A police report is not necessary although it can establish credibility. If someone gives a statement to the police at the accident scene and then later changes their story, it damages their credibility.
Note that a police report is hearsay and generally inadmissible in court because the officer didn’t actually witness the accident. It is, however, a good document to have for negotiations with the insurance company.
Having a neutral witness to the accident is a huge benefit. The likelihood of winning negotiations and the court case increases if a witness’ account of the accident is similar to yours. Without witnesses, it is your story against the other driver’s story. In this case, the court will look at the physical evidence and driver credibility to determine the truth.
If Joe Jonas wasn’t driving how is he liable?
Every state has laws that provide liability for an employer if their employee causes a car crash while on duty. The employer can be negligent for hiring someone with a bad driving record, not checking to see if the employee has a license, not adequately providing training to the employee, etc.
In addition, an employer is liable if the employee was performing work on behalf of the employer at the time of the crash. If Jonas’ assistant was on her way to drop off his dry cleaning, he could be liable. However, if Jonas’ assistant finished his errands and stopped for coffee for herself when the crash happened then Jonas isn’t liable.
Because most of the facts are unknown, it’s difficult to speculate the party at fault. We don’t know the assistant’s story or what the assistant was doing at the time of the crash. Jonas isn’t the first celebrity whose assistant crash their car, and he won’t be the last. No doubt he has good insurance and attorneys.