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Proving negligent entrustment

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2020 | Personal Injury |

Taking legal action may not be the first thing on your mind after experiencing a car accident in Galveston; rather, you are likely more concerned about recovering from your injuries so you can resume your normal life. 

Yet that can take time, which can lead to extensive costs due to rehabilitation (as well as lost income from not being able to work). Your frustrations may grow even further when you discover that the driver that hit you was driving another’s vehicle (which could call insurance coverage into question). Many in this same situation have come to us here at the Hodge Law Firm wondering what legal recourse may be available to them. 

Assigning negligent entrustment 

Like them, it will please you to know that assigning negligent entrustment to the vehicle owner may be an option. This legal principle assigns vicarious liability to vehicle owners when others cause accidents using their vehicles. The fundamental philosophy behind negligent entrustment is that vehicle owners need to exercise caution when loaning their cars out to others. 

Meeting the state’s standard 

Of course, the mere fact that the person who caused your accident was in another’s car at the time does not automatically apply negligent entrustment to your case. You must prove that the circumstances surrounding your accident meet the state’s standard for it. According to local state court rulings, this requires that you prove: 

  • The vehicle owner knowingly entrusted the vehicle 
  • The person the owner entrusted the vehicle to did not have or had proven themselves to be incompetent or reckless behind the wheel 
  • The vehicle owner knew (or should have known) of this 
  • The driver was negligent in operating the vehicle 
  • That negligence caused your accident 

More information on assigning fault in the wake of a car accident is available throughout our site.